Actor Shagufta Ali, who is best known for her work on TV shows like Saans, Sasural Simar Ka and Saath Nibhaana Saathiya, has been courageously speaking about her personal and professional struggles lately. Shagufta was diagnosed with breast cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy caused her diabetes six years ago which came hard on the heels of a dearth of better roles on screen. The 54-year-old actor has been out of work since 2018. Her last acting role was an extended cameo in the show Bepannaah.
“I never spoke to anyone about what I was going through," She told us. “I just kept working silently. But I had to be brave and courageous and come out in the open because I couldn’t take it anymore. Also, I feel when you keep your feelings and thoughts to yourself, it causes more harm than good either you get depressed or suffer anxiety attacks. So, I thought I should just speak out before it got too late. Because it would have been scarier to live life with suicidal thoughts or depression."
Ever since Shagufta opened up about facing financial woes and health issues, she has been flooded with messages and phone calls from industry colleagues and co-actors offering help. “I’m really grateful to the almighty that people have started coming forward to help me. I shared my problems in public only 8-9 days back and the kind of response that I have been getting is, touchwood, heartwarming. There are also people who are on my behalf talking to other people to help me. But yes, the financial stress that I have been going through and the amount that I require to overcome it is yet to be achieved.
“But I’m hoping even that will be done according to everybody’s timing, schedules and their own financial issues that they must be having due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But I had expected certain people to come forward and help me but they have not. I suppose bad times show you a lot of things."
Heaping praise on actor Johnny Lever and filmmaker Ashoke Pandit for going out of their way to help her, Shagufta said, “People like Johnny bhai (brother) and Ashoke ji have been very kind. They are talking to people around and trying to figure out how to raise the particular amount of money that I need."
When asked if she received any work offer lately, the actor said, “Right now, my doctors and close family friends have advised me to take proper rest and not work. They have said, ‘When you have stayed home and not worked for four-five years then why can’t you wait for another five-six months and then start working?’ Because then obviously I will be in a better state health-wise. Besides that, a couple of people have approached me and told me to let them know whenever I’m in a better health condition to take up work."
Shagufta recently made an appearance on Dance Deewane 3 where actor Madhuri Dixit handed over a Rs 5 lakh cheque to her on behalf of the dancing reality show team. The actor said that she’s given 36 years to the entertainment industry and its people and now it’s their time for payback.
“I have not been approached by any other reality show. If anybody wants to call me on their show then I will obviously go. I have given 36 years to this industry so maybe it’s their time to help me and take care of me."
If you want to help Shagufta Ali overcome her financial crisis and afford her medical treatment, you can make a donation here.