Felt like a family member died, says actress who played Aruna Shanbaug

Mumbai: Actress Chinmayee Sumeet, who had played the title role in Vinay Apte's 2002 Marathi play 'Katha Arunachi' (Aruna's story), today said she felt as if she had lost a family member with the passing away of Aruna Shanbaug.

Aruna, the former nurse at KEM Hospital here, died today after lying in coma for 42 years following a brutal sexual assault.


A scene from the play in which Chinmayee Sumeet played Aruna

"Vinay Apte (the late Marathi actor-director) handled the subject of rape in a very sensitive manner...The writer Dattakumar Desai was a civic employee. There was a lot of authenticity in the dramatised account," Chinmayee told PTI.

KEM Hospital, where Aruna was assaulted, is run by the Mumbai municipal corporation.

"I was three years old when the unfortunate incident happened (in November 1973), robbing Aruna of her youth and dreams. But I feel as if I have lost someone from my household."

Rather than feeling happy for getting the chance to play Aruna on stage, Chinmayee said, she regretted that she was part of a society where such a mindset -- which led to the sexual assault on Aruna -- prevails.

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