Madhubala Gives Away her Life’s Savings
Unique in the annals of the Indian film industry an event, the very first of its type, took place on the 17′ August. 1950. Accompanied by her friend and mentor Mrs. Sushila Rani Patel, Madhubala our 17-year old famous film star, walked straight into the office of our Home Minister, the Hon. Shri Morarji Desai, and handed over to him a cheque for Rs. 50,000/- as a donation to the refugees from East Bengal.
In the letter accompanying the donation, Madhubala says: “The heart-rending story of the Bengal sufferers is agonizing enough to move any living soul on earth. My father and I have been reading various newspaper reports of the distress of humanity coming from East Bengal. The causes of all this calamity are beyond our control but we both felt that we could do a little at least to alleviate the sufferings of these unfortunate people and give them some relief.
“It is not fair, I think, for those, who are fortunate enough to enjoy the best blessings of God, to sit and watch with indifference the sufferings of others.
“I have therefore decided to give away Rs. 50,000/- my total savings so far, for the help of these refugees from East Bengal. As I want this money to be correctly used through official sources, I am drawing the cheque in your name with my humble request to you to utilize the same in a fit and proper manner at your absolute discretion. Part of the amount, if you think fit, may be diverted to other centers or for other humanitarian work where relief is needed, at your best discretion.
“And in doing this, I only pray for your blessings as my reward.”
The Hon. Shri Morarji Desai commended her noble gesture in the following words:
Secretariat, Bombay, 1
18th August 1950.
My dear Madhubala,
Please accept my thanks and congratulations for the magnificent and graceful donation of Rs. 50,000/- given by you to me yesterday for alleviating the sufferings of the refugees.
Your father also deserves my congratulations for the encouragement he has given you in giving such effective expression to your kind feelings for the suffering of your brethren.
He has every reason to be proud of a young daughter like – you who is not only a credit to her profession but is also a noble example of large heartedness for all her countrymen.
Papa Ataullah Khan must, indeed, be a proud man to have a daughter like Madhubala, who is not only beautiful and talented but is also so generous and noble hearted.
If some of our other film girls, who either hoard their money or waste it in cars, clothes, drinks, gambling and other dissipations would only emulate little Madhubala’s example, we wouldn’t have so many refugees wanting so much.
With best wishes and regards.