Ailing actor in hospital, seeks govt aid

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Mysore, Nov 5, 2013, DHNS : Chetan Ramarao, 75, who has acted in over 300 Kannada films and several plays over five decades, is suffering from arthritis and has appealed for financial aid to meet his medical expenses.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, at the BGS Apollo Hospital here on Tuesday, he said: “I have written letters to Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree, district incharge minister Srinivas Prasad and Cooperation Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad. I have also spoken to Ambareesh. But, nobody has responded positively”.

The veteran actor, who is recovering from a surgery at the hospital, has been advised to undergo further surgeries for complete recovery. He said, “I have exhausted all my savings on the medical expenses so far. So, I am pleading with artistes and government for aid only due to my helplessness”.

Doctors have already conducted five surgeries on the actor that cost him over Rs five lakh. It is said that he may require another Rs four lakh to Rs five lakh for treatment. After Ramarao underwent knee cap replacement recently, his sufferings aggravated, calling for further surgeries. He is also suffering from ribs and hip related complications, which also require minor surgeries soon.

Dr Balakrishne Gowda, who is treating the actor, said that earlier he had undergone surgery for joint pain in some other hospital. When the pain resurfaced, he was brought to BGS 15 days ago.

“I have conducted a re-surgery to replace the knee caps. Due to age factor, he is slow in responding to the treatment. Since the pain is persisting, he has been kept under observation. Considering his financial condition, the hospital has extended some concessions,” he explained.

Ramarao began his career in 1968 with the Rajkumar-starrer ‘Margadarshi’, directed by M R Vittal. He has acted in 300 films including ‘Balu Belagitu’, ‘Raja Nanna Raja’, ‘Lagna Patrike’, ‘Huliya Halina Mevu’, ‘Operation Diamond Rocket’ and ‘Olavu Geluvu’. He also played a character in ‘Apatarakshaka’ in 2008.

He said, working with renowned actors like Rajkumar, Ambareesh, Rajnikant, Srinath and Hemamalini were his golden days. Ramarao had played father to almost all heroines after 1975, till he was active.

A recipient of Kaladrona, Natachatura, Kalabheeshma and Kalaratna awards, he was a member of the State Film Awards Selection Committee in 2003. He has directed a documentary film ‘Kudiyuva Neeru’ (Drinking Water) for the Information Department.

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