Kolkata, 6 February : Well known Bengali danseuse for over three decades since early 1970s Arati Das , better known as Miss Shefali, died at her North Kolkata residence this morning following a protracted illness. She was 76.
Once widely called the ‘Helen of Bengal’, Miss Shefali had the chance to work under many renowned film makers including the legendary Satyajit Ray. She also acted in many successful stage plays such as ‘Samrat o Sundari’, ‘Saheb Bibi Golam’ and ‘Ashlil’ to name a few.She was also the first Bengali cabaret dancer and earned her fame all over India.
Though the state government had arranged a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for her, Shefali faced acute financvial constrains during the last few years of her life because of frequent hospitalisation . Her biography ‘Sandhya Rater Shefali’ (Shefali of the twilight) was published in Kolkata Book fair a few years ago.
Among others,Chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her deep condolences at the passing away of Miss Shefali. In her twitter handel she wrote ‘Saddened at the passing away of actress Arati Das, famous under her screen name, Miss Shefali. She appeared in two of Satyajit Ray’s films, Pratidwandi and Seemabaddha. Condolences to her family and her admirers’ .