Kopargaon (Town), Leading News Service: A few days ago, the youth of Kopargaon town of Ahmednagar district went viral on social media, singing a video of an elderly lady. Then a truth came out. The elderly woman in the viral video turned out to be a famous Tamasha artiste. Her name is Shantabai Londhe Kopargaonkar. The erstwhile lavani empress, whose acting and beauty smitten many pageant lovers forty years ago, Maharashtra’s lavani empress now spends her days eating whatever she can find on the streets. The bus station has become her home and she is living in a very bad condition.
Once the lavani dance of Shantabai Londhe alias Shantabai Kopargaonkar made North Maharashtra, Khandesh famous. Forty years ago, Attar Bhai, an employee of Kopargaon, staged a spectacle called ‘Shantabai Kopargaonkar’. Shantabai Londhe became the owner and started feeding fifty-sixty people. The pageant became famous in pilgrimages and fairs, and started earning a lot of money. But at the age of decline there was neither spectacle nor money. Now Shantabai started begging in that agitated state. No husband, no close relatives. Kopargaon bus station became Shantabai’s home.
Shantabai’s age is 75 years today. But Shantabai with disheveled hair, tattered sarees and tattered clothes are still sitting at Shantabai bus station singing the song ‘Olakh Juni Thilaman Money’.
Shantabai Londhe has been roaming in Kopargaon area for the past few years. But no one knew that she was Shantabai. A few days ago Shantabai Londhe, Regional Secretary of the Nationalist Cultural Department Dr. Ashok Gavitare and Arun Kharat, a flour miller from Chandekasare, were found walking in Kopargaon town in a very unfortunate condition. Seeing the plight of this elderly artist, the cultural department of the party took the initiative and took full responsibility for the future life of 75-year-old Shantabai Londhe. Also, Regional President of Cultural Department Babasaheb Patil conveyed this matter to senior leader Sharad Pawar and requested Londhe through Nationalist Welfare Trust to help Londhe with one lakh and get him a house. Pawar assured to take positive steps on this.
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