In pics: How a once-famous dancer now suffers in utter penury | lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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In pics: How a once-famous dancer now suffers in utter penury

Tara Balgopal, 80, was one of India’s most loved danseuse, honouring whom the government had released a postal stamp in 1975.

lifestyle Updated: Oct 02, 2015 01:38 IST
Tara Balgopal was one of India’s most loved danseuse, honouring whom the government had released a postal stamp in 1975.
Tara Balgopal was one of India’s most loved danseuse, honouring whom the government had released a postal stamp in 1975. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

Tara Balgopal, 80, was one of India’s most loved danseuse, honouring whom the government had released a postal stamp in 1975.

She was one of the most famous performers of Kathak, Kathakali and Bharatanatyam in the country.

Tara Balgopal poses for a photograph in her house.

But Balgopal now only has a copy of the stamp to live with. Her financial condition is miserable and she has received none of the benefits that usually come with artistic fame.

Balgopal shows a copy of the stamp and old photographs.

In the Delhi colony she lives, Balgopal is known as an “elderly South Indian woman in the society”. They know nothing of her illustrious artistic past and ignore her. She lives on the charity of a few occasional well-wishers.

The state of Balgopal’s residence is worrying.

She was once a favourite of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and his sister Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.

A photograph of the fridge used by Balgopal.

On October 1, as the nation celebrated senior citizens day, Balgopal spent another dismal day in her decaying old house.

Balgopal now lives on the charity of well wishers. Her old, rusting car can be seen in the background.