Johnny Lever is popular as Bollywood's funnyman but now he fits the sobriquet of a Good Samaritan too. When he heard about veteran actor Ajay Wadhavkar — best known for his role as Ganpat Havaldar in DD's good ol' 'Nukkad' — battling throat cancer and in need of financial help, he landed up at the latter's house with a cheque. That's not all. Lever, ex president of Cine and Television Artistes' Association (CINTAA), has promised to raise funds for him by getting the industry involved.
Johnny Lever and Ajay Wadhavkar. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Ajay has just undergone his second round of chemotherapy, expenses of which were taken care of by his nephew. "I cannot ask CINTAA for help as I never enrolled for it. The amount for membership was about Rs 11,000 which I could not afford to invest then, but I have friends like Johnny Lever and Suresh Bhagwat who have helped. The Shiv Sena has also donated some money to me. I need to get back on my feet because whatever little work my wife had is gone as she is busy taking me from one doctor to another," he says.
Ajay has acted in films like 'Yes Boss', 'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani' and 'English Babu Desi Mem', but admittedly failed to manage his career and finances, and he has been living in a rented house in Kandivli for a long time now.
The actor, who does not have any acting assignments currently, says, "I would like to plead to the government to devise a scheme that could aid creative people like us."