RBN Web Desk: The sound of two sticks on the strained leather surface once sent his audience to frenzy. But that has long fallen silent. With no money to afford treatment, veteran dhak legend Balaram Hazra is battling for his life at the Alipurduar District Hospital.
Balaram, a resident of Patkapara village in Alipurduar, was rushed to the hospital on 23 February night when his health deteriorated. He has stopped eating since the last five days.
The artiste’s wife Bharati Hazra told the media, even a few years back, there was a regular stream of visitors at their house when her husband played the instrument actively. All of them, however, have turned their faces since Balaram stopped playing and fell ill. Attending doctors told Bharati to take her husband to a specialty hospital for treatment which the family can’t afford. The dhak maestro may not survive, unless someone extends monetary help, she added.
Balaram Hazra was awarded the Banga Ratna last year by the West Bengal government. He received a cash award of ₹1 lakh. But the money was little for the cancer-struck artiste.
According to his family, around ₹4 lakhs is required for the treatment of the 71-year old musician. He was taken to Kolkata for advanced treatment, but that didn’t improve his condition, they said.
Balaram is well known all over the world for his music. A pall of gloom has descended at Alipurduar because of the condition that he is in now.
Doctors at the Alipurduar District Hospital said that Balaram is suffering from breathing difficulties. A medical board has been formed to look after him, they said.