IITian found in Seattle sells paintings to survive and not beg, claims the Samaritan

The post which was shared about 907 times on Facebook seeking help for a Bengali lady forced to rent motels and sell paintings to survive in USA was taken off, fearing media would use the video for sensationalising the news

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Kolkata/Texas: After having led a cushy life in the United States of America for a one-and-a-half decade, Jayasri Talapatra Gill, an IITian has been pushed to selling paintings made by her on the streets of Seattle in Washington County. Jayasri has been making a living by doing so for quite some time now. The money she earns is used to get an accommodation in one of the motels.

Her present condition came to everyone’s notice when, Prabhat Page, an Indian who has been living in Houston, Texas, came to her aid. Talking to eNewsroom, over Messenger, he said, “About 10 days ago, I was in Seattle for work when I came across her. An interaction with her revealed that she is an IITian and has worked with some big IT firms here. But due to a tryst with destiny, she lost all her documents and is having to face hardships. I sought her permission to make a video of hers, which I later posted on my Facebook page. Since then, many from the community have come forward to her aid.”

However, Prabhat is little upset with the local India media, for having reported that Jayasri was spotted begging on the streets of Seattle and it took a couple of minutes to convince him, to agree for an interaction. A rather miffed Prabhat, even resorted to deleting his FB posts related to Jayasri. He said, “Local Bengali Community requested me to remove the video, with Indian media reporting that the lady was found begging. Let me clarify, she makes a living by selling paintings and lives in a motel. The fact that she has lost her originals is making things difficult for her. She does have the photocopy of her documents. But to get things done here, you need the ID proof, which she lacks. Here even the homeless have an ID proof. The local community has come forward to her aid. We have contacted her sister back in Kolkata, who has promised to contact someone in the Ministry of External Affairs, to get her passport done.” He even went ahead to label media as Al Dajjal, the one-eyed (the lens) monster.

Prabhat, who is into tech sales and organic farming, he maintained that the ID proof is crucial to help Jayasri. He said, “We can’t claim her ID on her behalf here. She needs to hire an attorney and give a written permission to get things rolling. We are working on it, hopefully, something will happen for her good, soon.”

eNewsroom, even scanned through Jayashri’s Facebook profile, which had some posts or scripts, which makes it evident that the lady is under stress and needs help. However, the fact that she has led a cushy life and has worked with companies like Cognizant, perhaps made her turn down requests for taking refuge in shelters or seeking medical aid. Some even posted on Prabhat’s post stating that people had tried taking her to some shelter, but she refused. On being asked the same, he clarified, “Many Indians living here are perhaps measuring her case with the same yardstick.” He then questioned, “How will you feel when you are not looking good and all is not well and someone comes to your aid and asks you to go to a mental hospital or shelter homes. Come on, the lady in question is an IITian and has some self-esteem.”

Right from Jayasri’s discovery to sending off an SOS to her relatives in India, one thing that remains a mystery is the lack of her family’s interest. Repeated calls made to her sister, Maityee Talapatra, remained unattended. However, she during her interaction with Indian Express maintained that they had no clue about her condition while in the video posted by Prabhat (which has now been removed) Jayasri has claimed that no one back home takes her calls. Maityee, however, has claimed that she has sought the help from various officials to get her sister’s passport done.

(eNewsroom will keep reaching out to Maiytee Talapatra if contacted, her inputs shall be incorporated in the updated version)

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