The Indian Express on 10/2/2014 reported — The government does not have a house for Zohra Sehgal. Headlines Today reported her case and asked “Is this how we treat our legends?” As per reports Zohra Sehgal is 101 years old, lives in a second floor house with her daughter Kiran. As per Kiran “She can hardly hear or see. She cries in pain whenever she has to be taken to the dentist or for some work outside the house in a wheelchair. It’s difficult for her to even take the six steps to the area where she can sit in the sun.”
Zohra Sehgal had applied to the Ministry of Culture for ground floor government accommodation. The ministry did not give her house in artiste quota as she did not meet the criteria of being in age limit of 40-60 years, earn less than Rs.20,000/- p.m. and should not have property in the National Capital Region. Ministry of Culture forwarded her application to Ministry of Urban Development which did not allot her house.
It is not for the government to provide houses for present or former artistes and journalists. Sometime back there was a report that government has 20 bungalows for new journalists who come to Delhi which are occupied by senior journalists who refuse to vacate them. People who acted in films got paid for their work. Being a legend is not a favour to others and in India many people are considered legends. In a democracy all are equal. In India many people do not have a house. Zohra Sehgal has a house. Even if she had a ground floor house she would have needed someone to take her out of house.
Why is there no RTI application about artistes and journalists who live in government houses? The names of such artistes and journalists should be made public.
If The Indian Express feels so bad for Zohra Sehgal it should provide a ground floor house to Zohra Sehgal. If Headlines Today feels so bad for Zohra Sehgal it should provide a ground floor house to Zohra Sehgal. It is easy to be charitable at taxpayers’ expense.