Noted TV and film actor living in misery
Television dramas and films have a great influence on people. Besides entertainment, they educate the masses and make efforts to show both negative and positive aspects of a particular issue to build a peaceful society.
Sajjad Kishwar, a noted television-film actor and stage drama script editor, has numerous awards and shields in his house, but no money for his treatment. He is suffering from angina, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and high blood pressure.
“I have worked in about 2,000 TV dramas and more than 200 films in Urdu, Punjabi, Pushto, Seraiki, Potohari and Sindhi languages,” he told INFN with pride in his eyes.
The 73-year-old star was born in Ludhiana, India, in 1937. He migrated to Pakistan, along with his family, during the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. He did his graduation from Gujranwala and started a job with an insurance company in Rawalpindi. Later, he joined the ‘Pakistan Times’ newspaper, but his love for stage and screen acting forced him to quit journalism. Finally, he joined the Pakistan Television (PTV) in 1967. His first role was that of a villain in a drama titled ‘Raizgari,’ which was telecast from PTV’s Rawalpindi centre the same year.
“I have worked for 43 long years with the PTV, but not receiving any allowance from the state-run organisation in this time of need,” Sajjad Kishwar said. However at the same time, he praised the PTV and said what he is today is just because of it. He elaborated: “The ministry of finance didn’t approve funds for the PTV to facilitate senior artistes.”
“It is not only me who is suffering from financial crisis. Many of my friends are also in the same condition,” he said. “The government should at least provide medical and travel allowances and grant a piece of land (to build a home) to senior artistes,” he demanded.
Sajjad Kishwar still rides on his old Vespa scooter and buys all kitchen items himself from the market. He lives with his sick daughter and grandsons in their home at Pindora, Rawalpindi. His son is abroad.
He has no social contact in twin cities. “I had spent Eidul Azha at the tombs of my father, wife and other deceased family members.” He said that no one comes to see him, as most of the time he remains on the bed due to his bad health. “However some of my old friends had greeted me on Eid through telephone,” he added.
Sajjad Kishwar is the recipient of the lifetime achievement awards both from Radio Pakistan and PTV, Tamgha–e-Imtiaz, Madar–e-Millat Award, Pakistan Golden Jubilee Award, Agfa Award, Crari Award, First Media Award, Pakistan Television Award, Iftikhar-e– Asia Award and much much more. His famous television plays and films are ‘Akheri Shab,’ ‘Waris,’ ‘Aaina,’ ‘Meharbani,’ ‘Zindagi’ and ‘Khuda Kay Liye.’
Sajjad Kishwar had received the lifetime achievement award from the PTV on November 23, 2010. He received an amount of Rs100,000 with the award. “I had paid the dues of my medicines with this money,” he said. However he was worried about the cost of his medicines in future.
Sajjad Kishwar is old and weak, but still his delivery of words is exceptional. Currently his drams serial ‘Daddy’ is running on a private TV channel and his upcoming drama ‘Jeena Tau Hai’ produced by Tariq Meraj is expected to be released next month.