Mumbai: Student-teacher duo help former artist repay Rs 7 lakh medical loans
They got together to help Vinod Mangeshkar, who once worked for Ramesh Sippy, to sell his portraits
The make-believe world of Bollywood where he worked once sustained him, but now is a distant memory for backstage artist Vinod Mangeshkar. In Pune, struggling to make ends meet and to repay his medical loans, the senior citizen can only recall the times. But thanks to a student and his teacher who help him, he can now aim to repay his medical loan of Rs 7 lakh.
US-based Rahul Khismatrao, 20, who did his degree in bio-medical engineering in Pune, and Bharat Janaj, 60, who teaches math, got together to help Mangeshkar, a resident of Swargate, sell his paintings to raise money.
Worked for film industry
Mangeshkar lost his parents in the Panshet flood in Pune. His parent's friend from New Delhi adopted him. Mangeshkar became a painter and once drew a portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru who appreciated it and even suggested he draw a portrait of Queen Elizabeth.
Rahul Khismatrao and Bharat Janaj who helped Vinod Mangeshkar
Mangeshkar recalled, "For a good opportunity in art I moved to Mumbai and after struggling for several years, I began to work backstage for Bollywood films. I have worked for movies such as Waqt, Love in Tokyo, Aankhe, Brahmachari and also Raj. I was lucky and worked with Ramesh Sippy and Rajesh Khanna. But later, in the digital print age I became jobless and I came back to Pune."
Speaking about the time he worked with stars as Sunil Dutt, Mangeshkar said, "During our lunch break at the studio, all the labourers and artistes would sit together and eat. Many a time Dutt would join us. I use to tell him we are small people but he would say, 'I am a common man like you. Only after stepping out of the studio I am a star.' He was a very down-to-earth person."
Took loans for treatment
But coming back to present times, Mangeshkar once again becomes serious. He said, "Due to old age and also as my wife Yashoda was not keeping well, most of our money got over. We sold our house, but I was hospitalised and had to undergo bypass and we spent Rs 12 lakh. I have repaid Rs 5 lakh and am struggling to repay the rest. I work as a security guard where I earn Rs 7,000, while my wife is a domestic maid."
Mangeshkar also claimed there is a record in his name for the biggest painting of Lord Hanuman which he created in two days' time. "It's my dream to start a small art school where under-privileged students will learn for free."
Student, teacher help
Khismatrao met Mangeshkar in his college and decided to help him. He recalled, "Mangeshkar kaka used to work as a security guard in our college. He used to talk about his career as an artist in Bollywood. Later I learnt about his financial issues. In order to help him, I and Bharat Sir began to sell portraits made by him to our friends. We were able to help him repay Rs 2 lakh."
He added, that to help Mangeshkar start his academy of art, Janaj and he even collect funds online and have so far received R4,000. They also wrote to an industrialist for financial help. Janaj said, "We will make Mangeshkar kaka's dream of an academy of art come true."
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