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.
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.
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.
She was once a favourite of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and his sister Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.
On October 1, as the nation celebrated senior citizens day, Balgopal spent another dismal day in her decaying old house.