Actor Sitaram Panchal, who was in news for his Facebook post seeking help for medical treatment, passed away on Thursday. The actor, who was fondly called Situ Bhai, was suffering from lung cancer.
"Sitaram Panchal passed away this morning. He had breathing difficulties. He was not keeping well for a long time," a relative of Sitaram told Indian Express.
Here are some lesser-known facts about Sitaram Panchal.
The 54-year-old National School of Drama graduate made his Bollywood debut in 1994 with Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen, but he shot to fame only after working in movies starring Irrfan Khan, Ajay Devgn and Dev Patel among others.
List of movies and TV serials he acted in
Bandit Queen, Slumdog Millionaire, Peepli [Live], The Legend of Bhagat Singh, The Warrior, Jolly LLB 2, Paan Singh Tomar, Raagdesh, Haryana-based film Ischool and yet-to-be released Rebellious Flower among others.
He also acted in Shyam Benegal's TV series Samvidhan and Ek Ghar Banaunga.
Diagnosed with lung cancer
Sitaram was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2014, but he continued to act in movies while undergoing treatment.
"Since acting was his only source of income, he worked between September-October last year when he was slightly better with medication, and shot for small roles in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Raagdesh and Subhash Kapoor's Jolly LLB 2. But the treatment has aggravated his diabetes, which led to him losing his voice," Sitaram's wife Uma Panchal had told Mumbai Mirror in July.
Wrong medication deteriorated his health condition
Uma revealed that wrong medication in two different hospitals worsened his condition. "At one point, he was asked to go completely off allopathy, which led to breathing troubles," she said.
Sitaram's health condition came to light after he uploaded a Facebook post seeking help for his treatment. In July, he posted saying that he needs money for his treatment. The post went viral and several celebrities came forward to help the actor.
"Bhaio meri help karo meri cancer se halat kharab hoti ja rahi hai apka kalakar bhai sitaram panchal," his post read.
Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) also posted on Facebook about the actor's health and asked everyone to help him financially.
"It pains us to hear the suffering of our esteemed member Shri Sitaram Panchal, we assure him of all the help we can provide to him in his hour of need and also urge all of you to open your hearts."