Once a diva, now poor and forgotten | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Once a diva, now poor and forgotten

She was once well-known and respected name in the Bollywood. She had given the industry many a hit number and was also known for her ghazals.

mumbai Updated: Jul 25, 2011 01:41 IST
Little Yadav

She was once well-known and respected name in the Bollywood. She had given the industry many a hit number and was also known for her ghazals. But today, playback singer Mubarak Begum lives in a house that can be called a pigeon-hole, cut-off from the film fraternity, and struggling to make ends meet.

While old age has brought along with it a slew of health problems, the former diva has been rebuffed by those from the industry, where she was treated like a star.

Mubarak, currently in her seventies, lives in 450sq feet, one BHK residence in MHADA colony, Jogeshwari (W). Here, she lives with her daughter, son,daughter-in law and her granddaughter.

The only source of income, for this family of five, is the salary that Mubarak’s son gets. He runs a private cab, dropping and picking up schoolchildren. Her 40-year-old daughter suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Mubarak says that while there are times she gets money from her fans, who send her demand drafts, sometimes the family has to go without money for months together. “Sometimes, we can’t even pay the electricity bill. Around Rs6,000 is spent every month on my daughter’s treatment. Our condition is so bad, that I did not undergo surgery for a stomach problem I was facing, because we couldn’t afford it,” she says.

Mubarak however, has found support from an unlikely source. A group of people have begun a organisation called Bhule Bisre Geet (BBG), which also has a page on social networking site Facebook. BBG attempts to provide assistance to long-forgotten film personalities.

Falguni Upadhay, the proprietor of the group said, “We organised a few shows where Mubarak could perform, which could help her financially. We conduct meetings in the city and as and when we get money we pass it on to Mubarak.”

However, the artiste has lost hope in humanity. “I still ask people to give me job but I guess I am too old for it. All I am asking for is a decent meal for my family and a little money to meet our basic needs. Is it too much to ask from people who have crores in their bank account?”