When Surekha Sikri denied seeking charity: 'Give me work and I want to earn respectfully'

  • Surekha Sikri in 2020 denied seeking charity after a bout of illness. She said that she wants to earn a respectful living through her work instead.
Surekha Sikri in a still from Badhaai Ho.
Surekha Sikri in a still from Badhaai Ho.
Updated on Jul 16, 2021 03:15 PM IST
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Veteran actor Surekha Sikri died at the age of 75 on Friday. She suffered a cardiac arrest after several months of illness. She was a household name in the twilight of her career, with prominent roles in the primetime soap opera Balika Vadhu and the hit film Badhaai Ho.

But in 2020, when Surekha Sikri suffered a brain stroke and had to be hospitalised, it was reported that she was in need of financial assistance. The actor and her manager both denied the reports, which originated from the nurse treating her.

A Navbharat Times report quoted the actor’s nurse as saying, “I rushed her to the hospital and she is currently being treated. I couldn’t get her admitted to any other hospital because of high fees. We do not have that kind of money."

Surekha’s long-time manager Vivek Sidhwani clarified the nurse's comments in a statement to Mid-Day. He said, “That was incorrectly put out in the press. Surekhaji has her own finances and the family, including her son, is by her side. There is no need for financial assistance for now. Many of her well-wishers, colleagues and filmmakers were kind enough to offer financial assistance. They have been informed that the family is taking care of everything and giving her the best possible treatment. We would like to acknowledge everyone who reached out to us.”

Last year, she also voiced her disappointment in Covid-19 guidelines that prohibited those over 65 from working. In an interview with Hindustan Times, she said, “I don’t want any wrong impression to be created among people that I am going around begging people for money. I don’t want charity. Yes many have reached out to me, which is very kind of them. I really feel grateful. But I’ve not taken anything from anyone. Give me work and I want to earn respectfully."

Also read: Surekha Sikri dies of cardiac arrest at 75, was 'surrounded by family'

In 2018, she suffered a brain stroke that left her partially paralysed. While she took time to recover, Sikri couldn’t take up much work, which had an effect on her financial status. She was last seen in Zoya Akhtar's short film in the Netflix anthology Ghost Stories. In the HT interview, she had expressed her excitement to return to work, and said that she 'can't sit at home like this any longer and be a burden on my family'.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021