NEW DELHI -- An online petition and the Delhi government have come to the rescue of a veteran classical dancer, who once trained the likes of Hema Malini, but was reduced to poverty after her husband passed away, and she lost her savings in a decade-long court battle over her dues.
Several news outlets have highlighted the case of 82-year-old Tara Balgopal, a Bharatnayam, Kathakali and Kathak dancer, who now lives in a cramped quarter in Rajouri Garden, and is dependant on charity for food.
In an interview with CNN-IBN's Citizen Journalists, which reported the story in October, 2014, Balgopal, said, "We belong to a family which brought out Bharatnayam from the DB road kind of practicals to the stage."
The Hindu reported today that an online petition had accumulated Rs3 crores for Balgopal, who was featured on a 1962 stamp, and the Aam Aadmi Party government has taken up her case.
"I had sent an official from my office who has met her and I have got all the details of the problems she has with the college," Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra told the newspaper.
"I wonder how people can be so insensitive towards someone who has done so much for the country. I will take personal interest and see to it that she gets all the support she needs. In the coming days, the issue will be resolved," he said.
The veteran dancer told The Hindu that she took up the position of a Reader at Rajdhani College after retirement, and the college owes her Rs2 crore in dues. She blames her poverty on the neglect of government authorities, banks and insurance firms.
"I met her personally and noted details of the case she doesn't want any charity, but only wants what is due to her. I have given her my number and asked her to call me anytime she needs anything as no one lives with her," said Jarnail Singh, AAP's lawmaker from Rajouri Garden.