The memoirs of an eminent oncologist, who treated South Indian actress Srividya, who died of cancer seven years ago, has sparked a row over the allegation that a trust, which managed her assets, showed reluctance to bear the expenses of some costly medicines.
Former Director of Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Dr M Krishnan Nair, claimed in his recently released book that the Srividya Trust was unwilling to buy the medicines though doctors suggested that they would improve her condition.
Incidentally, the trust was headed by former minister and actor K B Ganesh Kumar, though Nair does not mention any name in his book.
Asked about Nair's claim, a spokesperson for Ganesh Kumar dubbed it as a "big lie". "This allegation is totally false.
The functioning of the trust is transparent and everyone is aware of that. This could be seen only as an attempt to tarnish the image of Kumar," he said.
Srividya, who essayed many memorable roles in various South Indian movies, died at the RCC at the age of 53 on October 19, 2006.
Nair's memoirs in Malayalam, said the doctors of RCC decided to give a new medicine to Srividya which had comparatively less side-effects on lungs.
As it would cost around Rs one lakh per injection, the doctors asked the actress whether she could bear the cost. Srividya then informed the doctors that all her assets had been transferred to a trust named after her and it should bear the treatment expenses, the doctor claimed in the book.
Though doctors contacted the trust members, they said they could not bear the huge cost of the medicines and that any other kind of treatment was enough for the actress, the book claimed.
The doctor also noted that the actress, known for her charming personality and graceful looks, had apprehensions and misconceptions about the cancer treatment.
As any other ordinary woman, she was also afraid of the side-effects of the medicine, thinking it might cause changes in her appearance, he said.