A junior artiste of Gujarati films — who appeared in over 150 movies in his career spanning four decades — was found dead by the side of a road with his body remaining unclaimed for two days before police established his identity and handed over his body to his only daughter, Rupa Parmar, a resident of Kanjari village in Nadiad.
Jeevanbhai Dhelasat (65) started his career as a spot boy in Gujarati films made at Vadodara’s Laxmi Studio, then started playing roles in Gujarati films made at Lucky Studio at Halol, Laxmi Studio in Vadodara and Vohra Studio in Gandhinagar, as well as movies shot at Rajpipla.
But as he grew old and movie roles were denied to him, he again started working as the spot boy and makeup boy at these studios. He stayed alone at his Sayajpura locality residence and sold edibles on trains for living.
Police recovered Dhelasat’s body on the night of December 5 from a bus stand near Ajwa overbridge. The body was sent to the SSG Hospital for postmortem and then kept at cold storage where it remained unclaimed for two days.
From his possession police recovered a bundle of old photographs of the deceased with several renowned actors in Gujarati film industry, including Naresh Kanodia, Upendra Trivedi, Ramesh Mehta, and Arvind Trivedi, among others. This offered police the hint that he might be associated with film industry and approached the renowned director-producer Amrit Barot, who recognised him as Dhelasat and helped the police get in touch with his daughter.
“I knew Dhelasat very well. He played a number of different roles in over 150 films in his career spanning 40 years, starting with movie Anyay in 1971. He did not have a meaty role in any movie but appeared briefly in a number of movies. During old age, when he did not get to play any role in movies, he’d work as spot boy, makeup man to earn a living,” Barot said.
Some movies in which Dhelasat worked included Mahisagar ni Are, Dholamaru, Dholi, Meru Malan, etc., Barot said. Police said that Dhelasat died due to cold.