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Mayawati's gesture towards Phalke's
daughter jolts Maharashtra govt
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | March 15, 2003 17:40 IST
Deeply embarrassed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's gesture of presenting Rs 100,000 to Vrunda Pusalkar, the Maharashtra government has offered a monthly pension to the ailing daughter of Dadasaheb Phalke, the doyen of Indian cinema.
Mayawati presented the cheque on Friday evening in the presence of the Bollywood personalities, including Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Anupam Kher, Anu Malik. Union Shipping Minister Shatrughan Sinha was also present on the occasion.
Akshay Kumar and Anu Malik posed for pictures with the ailing woman, who was unable to understand the reason for the commotion.
Vrunda Pusalkar (80) is the only living offspring among Dadasaheb Phalke's three daughters and seven sons. She suffers from Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.
The Pusalkars could not afford to treat her, but at the same time were reluctant to approach people for money.
However, on the suggestion of friends, they approached mediapersons. The issue got huge publicity but no one came forward to offer help to the family.
Except, actor and Member of Parliament Sunil Dutt who paid a visit to the Pusalkars' house and offered Rs 10,000.
"Though I did not expect any monetary assistance from the film industry, I did expect people to call on my mother or at least inquire about her. But no one did," said Chandrashekhar Pusalkar.
"Dadasaheb belongs to entire country and I was touched by Mayawatiji's gesture."
"I am grateful to her for helping my mother when the entire world has forgotten the good deeds of my grandfather and his contribution to the Indian film industry," he said.
Chandrashekhar has been jobless for the last three years after his factory (he worked in Crompton & Greaves) shut down.
"On Thursday, someone from the Maharashtra government called up to offer Rs 2,500 every month as pension to my mother," he said.
More reports from Maharashtra
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