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Home > News > Report

Ex-model seen begging on streets

September 03, 2007 23:39 IST

Once a top model on the fashion ramp and now forced to beg for a living, the story of Geetanjali Nagpal is an astonishing tale of a person going from riches to rags.

Disowned by her family, the 32-year-old former model, a contemporary to the likes of Bollywood star Sushmita Sen [Images], with her matted hair, dirty clothes and unwashed look, now presents a picture of poverty.

Nagpal, who was found begging in a market in South Delhi by a photojournalist on Friday, is now under the care of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

According to doctors at a hospital, where she was taken by the DCW chairperson Barkha Singh, Nagpal suffers from psychosis and needs to be hospitalised.

There was some confusion among the authorities on how to deal with Nagpal's case. DCW took her a hospital, but was told that a case had to be registered before she could be admitted.

Singh spoke to the metropolitan magistrate at Karkardooma Court, who directed that Nagpal be first taken to the Hauz Khas police station, where a case would be registered.

There was, however, some drama outside the hospital as Nagpal refused to leave the car and go for a check-up. The doctors then came to the car and spoke with her for some time before concluding that she suffered from psychosis.

Nagpal, who got irritated with intense media attention, snapped at mediapersons who approached her and shouted at the photographers who clicked pictures.

Daughter of a Navy officer, Nagpal is convent educated and graduated from the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College.

She left home in 1990 and took to modeling full time. Nagpal went from Delhi to Mumbai, but her career failed to take off.

Nagpal went to Nepal with her boyfriend, but things did not work, and she then went to Goa [Images], where she got close to a Britisher. She came back to Delhi with the Britisher and lived with him in Paharganj.

Some time later though, her foreigner boyfriend went back and ever since she has been on the streets. Her neighbours in Lajpat Nagar said they did not know her. They said they only knew her parents and her sister.

Nagpal's story has left the fashion fraternity shocked.

Fashion designer J J Vallaya said he remembered seeing her as an aspiring model in the 1990s.

"I remember seeing her portfolio. She was not getting into modeling after that I have no idea what happened to her," he said.

Ex-model Meyhar Bhasin said, "It is very shocking to hear something like this.  I have been here in the industry for over a decade. None of us have heard something like this or somebody's life has been so because of modelling."

"It is really unfortunate what happened to her," she said, but added it could not be blamed on modelling.

"I blame it on the situation that she had to go through," she said.

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