Peepli Live actor Sitaram Panchal passes away after year-long battle with kidney, lung cancer
Actor Sitaram Panchal, who has been part of projects like Peepli Live, Paan Singh Tomar, Jolly LLB 2 and also Danny Boyle's Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire, passed away on 10 August after battling lung and kidney cancer for over a year.
Panchal, an alum of the prestigious National School of Drama, began his acting career with Shekhar Kapur's controversial 1994 biopic, Bandit Queen, based on the life and times of the dacoit Phulan Devi and her gang.
One of his relatives told The Indian Express, "Sitaram Panchal passed away this morning. He had breathing difficulties. He was not keeping well for a long time."
Sadly, the 54-year-old actor, throughout his battle with cancer, also faced severe financial problems. He sought financial aid on Facebook as well.
The Haryana government also came forward to help Panchal who originally hails from the state. He also received funds from the members of Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA), friends and relatives.
The actor later thanked them: "I would like to thank the Haryana Government for the aid provided to me in my critical health and financial condition... I am thankful to my family friends, relatives, colleagues and specially my fans who are praying for my good health."
In spite of receiving funds of around Rs 5 lakh, Panchal reportedly underwent Ayurvedic treatment and didn't switch over to allopathic medication. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, his wife Uma Panchal said, "Ever since the cancer was detected in January 2014, he has taken Ayurvedic treatment. It was only recently that he started a new homeopathic medicine, following which, his condition worsened and we discontinued the medicines."