MUMBAI: Actor Samir Sharma (44), who has starred in the Hindi film “Hasee Toh Phasee” besides popular television shows “Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki” and “Woh Rehne Wali Mehlon Ki”, was found dead in his Malad (West) flat on Wednesday night.
Police said he had hanged himself from the ceiling fan of his kitchen. Sharma, who had separated from his wife and lived alone, did not leave behind a suicide note.
Around 9pm on Wednesday, a watchman of Sharma’s society glanced at his kitchen window and spotted him hanging. He alerted the society’s residents, who summoned police. “The actor’s flat was in a state of disarray when we entered. A strong odour emanated from the body. We suspect he took the drastic step at least a day or two ago. His parents and sister are in Bengaluru and have been informed,” a police officer said. Police will go through the actor’s medical files and financial statements to investigate if he had any trouble. He had moved into the Malad apartment in December last year.
Sharma’s suicide, following those of actors Sushant Singh Rajput, Manmeet Grewal and Preksha Mehta, has put the focus once again on mental health. While Malad police are still to ascertain the motive for the extreme step, mental health professionals say several factors during a pandemic and lockdown could push a person to the brink. “These could include financial stress, lack of employment options, major changes in lifestyle and loneliness coupled with fear of the future,” said psychiatrist Avinash De Sousa.
“It’s unfortunate that Sharma, who was a regular working actor and whose advances had been cleared, resorted to such a drastic step. He was talking to his fellow actors about restarting work this week. We wonder what demons he might have been battling,” said Amit Behl, actor and senior joint secretary of the Cine & TV Artistes’ Association, which had formed an actors’ care group in 2016. Behl stressed that reports of escalating mental health problems in the industry have prompted the association to appeal for help from corporate bodies to set up a round-the-clock helpline.
“Our sister concern, Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, has a hotline. It’s time for us too. Repercussions of the lockdown will remain for a while and we have to start working on finding both human and monetary resources to offer 24×7 help and counselling,” he said.
Sharma’s Instagram page describes him as an “actor, writer and poet”. On July 22, he had shared a post on mental health and depression, mentioning Rajput’s alleged bipolar disorder as well.
“The World Health Organisation says one in three people is depressed. Often, people hesitate to seek help as there is a stigma attached to depression. But every suicide is preventable if help is sought,” said De Sousa.
Malad police have recorded an accidental death entry.
Courtesy – Timesofindia.IndiaTimes.Com