Campaign Ended! The campaign ended on November, 12 2015
Help Tara BalGopal get back on her feet again
Help Tara BalGopal get back on her feet again
Image courtesy: www.indiatimes.com
Most of us have read about the plight of Tara Balgopal, the 82 year old veteran danseuse, who is now reduced to living on charity.
She has been cheated out of her money by various government departments, banks and even insurance firms.
She was a reader of English at Rajdhani College, Delhi, but post her retirement, they havent paid her pension, and claim that "her file has been lost".
Banks and insurance companies have worsened the matter by withholding her money and personal property, on various pretexts.
You can read her story on
I managed to contact her, and met her personally at her home today.
Her home is falling apart, and she has no one take care of her, and is on the mercy of neighbors, who provide a little food once in a while.
She said that the media came, made her get dressed up for a photo shoot, and promised financial aid, and repairs for her house. "But all of them have vanished now".
I gave her 5000 rupees, but she needs a lot more help.
I am the co-founder of LawRato.com, a legal advice startup in Delhi, and we will be providing her with free expert legal advice and counsel, through Advocate Jaspreet Singh Rai, a renowned lawyer in the Delhi High Court. We wll fight her case pro-bono, against the college, bank and insurance company.
Justice will take time, and she needs our help now.
If you have read of her plight, and want to help, please contribute.
Although legal aid is free from LawRato.com , we still need funds to-
1. Fix up her house - Needs minor repairs everywhere, and a good paint job.
2. Ensure she get her meals daily - Engage with a milkman and tiffin service to ensure she gets her food, at least for the next few months
3. Some spending money for electicity and medical expenses.
And we want to do all of this before Diwali.
UPDATE: 10th Oct
I went and met her today afternoon again. and she was overjoyed with the fact that so many are concerned about her, and we have raised over 3 lacs in less than 48 hours.
We have started putting the fund to good use . I took Arun, my regular painter with me, to access the effort required to fix the house. He and his team will get started from Tuesday, and will repair and paint the house, and some minor woodwork repair. (I sat by her side on the bed, and it cracked! Not my fault, honest!). The furniture needs repairs too, and I will get that done also. The kitchen was a sad sight, and looked as if no one had entered it for years. The entire house is in a mess, as she can't maintain it alone.
I shortlisted 2 tiffin services for trial, but she informed me she is a vegetarian, and does not eat onion or garlic even. So now looking to arrange that too. Should be done in the next 2 days.
I also managed to contact scoopwhoop.com , to help spread the word, and two reporters from their team came along, and would publish her story and promote this campaign on Monday. The more people get involved, the faster we can improve her life.
(UPDATE - 11th Oct - Story is live on ScoopWhoop - http://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/miserable-legacy-of-tara-balgopal/ )
We started with a 3lac goal, but hope we can raise 5 lacs, to provide a few more things
a. Engage a part-time maid who cleans the place, wash her clothes and does the utensils
b. Get her a cable TV connection . She has a TV, but no cable.
c. Get some basic furniture repaired, and some bedsheets, curtains etc.
A lot of you wrote you wanted to see more pictures, and I took a few on this visit.
For every 30,000/- more we raise, we will be able to support her for an additional month (attendant, food, utility bills)
UPDATE 23rd OCT 2015
I visited Tara Balgopal again today, to check on the progess of the work.
Beena , a trained caregiver has also been engaged to take care of her , from morning till evening, everyday.
The repair is in full swing, but with slow progress. The house is a mess, and we are also sorting out the trash from the things piled up everywhere. Half of the house wiring is burnt, and the plumbing leaky. It is also being fixed , and the most of it will be done within a week.
Tara Ma'am and I try to make a list of things which are needed, but she keeps insisting everything " can be repaired" I finally make a list on my own.
She says she doesnt like the "roti-subzi" from the tiffin service, and would rather eat something better. "Better" means vada, utthapam etc :)
I visit New Kwality Snacks - a nice clean restaurant near her house. Once the owner Rahul Khatter hears about Taraji , he refuses to take money to provide her meals everyday. I explain that we have enough funds, but he is insistent that he will take care of this. Her yummy meals start from tomorrow :)
Co-Founder - LawRato.com