Worries do not cease for Bengal migrant worker who won Rs 1 crore lottery

Mofijul Rahana Sheikh is clueless on what to do with his prize money.

Kolkata: Ten days ago, when 22-year-old Mofijul Rahana Sheikh bought a lottery ticket out of pity for the handicapped vendor, little did he know that fortune was set to smile bright in his life. Sheikh, a migrant worker from Lakshmipur of Malda district in West Bengal won a Kerala government lottery worth Rs one crore just three days after coming to Kozhikode looking for work.

His first reaction on the lottery win was to head immediately to the local police station, with his bag and baggage, seeking protection, as he feared that other migrant workers in his group might attack him and take away the ticket. Sheikh spent two days cooped up at the police station, as the banks were shut owing to the Mahashivaratri festival. The Police then took him to a bank, where he opened an account and submitted the ticket, and soon after, he boarded a train back to West Bengal.

But trouble is far from over for Sheikh.

Clueless over the sum that would be deducted as income tax, Sheikh, with a perplexed face, tries to clarify his doubt with reporters. Adding to it is the bank manager’s warning that he will not be able to claim the prize money unless he secures a PAN card.

“The SBI bank manager where I submitted my cheque told me that I won’t get the money without PAN card, and so I have applied for one” says Sheikh.

Safety concern also looms large, with the family being worried sick of robbers trying to loot the household.

And then there is the biggest question of all –What to do with the prize money?

For a family that has a combined monthly income of 12,000 rupees, the question is indeed baffling.

“My father says that we should buy some land with the money we get. I also want to invest in a saree business,” he says. Sheikh belongs to one of the 300 ‘taanti’ families of the village, whose predominant occupation is saree weaving.

While different ideas keep pouring in about the best possible use for the money, Rafiza, Sheikh’s wife, has only one expectation -- education for their daughter Masuma Khatoon.

“No one has studied beyond Class 1 in our house. I want my daughter to go to an English medium school,” she says.

But ironically, Sheikh remains what he was.

“People don’t believe that I haven’t got the money yet. They think I am being cautious,” he said adding that all he has in his wallet is Rs 200.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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