Penniless, Miss Shefali Battles for Life

Kolkata: Miss Shefali, one of the most popular cabaret dancers in the city during her heydays, is battling for life at a private hospital in Mukundapur. She fell ill on 1 April, and was rushed to the medics. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed Miss Shefali suffering from internal bleeding.

Her nephew Elvina Saha told the media, with no money, they are clueless about how to carry on with the treatment. They could only manage two bottles of blood out of the 10 already infused by the hospital. While actress Rituparna Sengupta has taken care of the hospital expenses, the medicine and other allied charges have to be borne by the family, she added.

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Elvina said, as of now, the medicine charges alone amount to ₹73,000. They have only got about ₹12,000, she claimed, adding that some more money has been arranged which is still much below than what is required for the entire treatment. That aside, they are not sure how many days her aunt has to stay in the hospital, she said.

The 74-year old dancer stays alone in a small apartment on Jessore Road in Nagerbazar. Popularly called the Helen of Bengal, Miss Shefali worked with several top film directors including Satyajit Ray. She also appeared in a number of successful stage plays including Samrat o Sundari, Saheb Bibi Golam, Ashlil, and others.

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Her autobiography, Sandhya Rater Shefali, was released a few years ago. That aside, a biopic was announced with actress Paoli Dam in Shefali’s role. The film, however, has since been a non-starter.

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