If I survived the ordeal, it is only because of Salman Khan, says Veergati co-actor Pooja Dadwal about Bollywood superstar


Last month it was widely reported how Bollywood superstar Salman Khan had secretly paid for the treatment of Kavi Kumar Azad from Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma before his tragic death.

Soon after Azad’s death stunned everyone in the entertainment industry, it had emerged that Salman Khan had once paid for Azad’s medical bills after he needed a big surgery around eight years ago. A report by Spotboye.com had said that Azad was brought to one Dr Muffi Lakdawala after he had collapsed on the set. Dr Muffi placed him on the ventilator, and after the operation was done, Hathi got a new lease of life with his weight coming down from from 265 kg to 140 kg.

Weeks later, another act of Salman’s generosity has come to light. Pooja Dadwal, who acted opposite Salman in 1995 film Veergati, was recently diagnosed with infection to both her lungs. Diagnosed with tuberculosis, Pooja lost considerable weight and weighed merely 23 kg when she was admitted at the hospital in March this year. Her woes did not end here and soon her own family abandoned her.

It was at this juncture when Pooja’s former co-star stepped in and decided to take care of her treatment. A report by Mumbai Mirror said, “Both her lungs were infected and she was facing major difficulties in breathing and was on oxygen support for almost two months. After reports on the 44-year-old’s condition and financial struggle, Salman Khan’s Being Human foundation intervened and supported her.”

Dr Lalit Anande, medical superintendent of the hospital, where Pooja was treated told the Mirror that the actress fought this deadly bacteria only because of her will power. When Ifirst met her in the ward, she told me, ‘I want to walk again, please do something so that I can stand on my feet and walk again’.”

Pooja has now gone for a holiday in Goa and she can’t express her excitement in words. She told Mumbai Mirror, “I can’t describe how I am feeling. I gave up all hope after the doctors told me that my lungs were severely affected. Incessant coughing and breathlessness had left me weak. And I saw so many like me, dying all alone – their friends and family, like mine, had deserted them. But then I decided that I don’t want to end up like that. I decided to fight, to not let the disease win. Yes, one of the side-effects of tuberculosis is social rejection but I am really thankful to Salman Khan who lent me the support. From clothes to soaps, diapers, food, medicines, his foundation took care of everything. If I survived the ordeal, it is only because of him.”