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Helping hands

Riyaz Gangji is the latest entrant to come forward and help AK Hangal.

entertainment Updated: Jan 23, 2011 14:06 IST
Collin Rodrigues

Fashion designer Riyaz Gangji has joined the list of people who are stepping forward to help ailing actor AK Hangal. The designer recently donated a cheque of Rs 51,000. “To me it’s not help. I am donating the money to Hangal as a gesture of restoring his dignity,” says Gangji. The designer goes on to say that he will use the services of Hangal in one of his advertising campaigns, once he recovers from his illness.

“I will also give photography contracts to Hangal’s son Vijay,” he adds. Vijay Hangal (74) is a professional photographer and has previously worked with Yash Chopra films as a still photographer. He was also employed with the Doordarshan show Surbhi for a while.

“I am really happy with the help that has been coming to us due to the publicity that newspapers and news channels have given us,” says Vijay. Both the father and son stay at separate flats at Saraswati Mansion in Santa Cruz East. In the last two days help has been pouring in from the film fraternity, politicians and the common man alike. “My father has been falling ill frequently since 1995. He used to recover after 15 days and then fall ill all over again,” informs Vijay.

People who have offered help in the last two days include Jaya Bachchan, Karan Johar, Mithun Chakraborthy and CM Prithviraj Chavan. Amitabh Bachchan has also come forward with an offer to help. The Big B recently wrote on his blog recently, “It has been sad and unnerving to learn today of the dire condition of one of our most devoted and dedicated character artists of the industry, Mr AK Hangal. I came to know of this through the kind offices of the cyber— the net and the social net. I have now initiated my office, sitting some distance, to render immediate support and help. As individuals, as fraternity, as humans, that is the least we can do.”