Actor Javed Kodu in desperate need of help
LAHORE: The name Javed Kodu is synonymous with comedic genius. The dwarf actor has spent nearly 45 years in the Pakistani film industry and completed over 150 films to date, along with numerous stage dramas.
His impeccable comic timing and unique talent won Kodu fans the world over and he will forever be regarded as one of the greatest Pakistani artists of all time.
Unfortunately, Kodu’s life took a turn for the worse about two years ago when he suffered a brain hemorrhage and became paralyzed as a result of it. The former star has been bed-ridden ever since, in a small rental in Lahore’s Mughal Pura vicinity while his family struggles to make ends meet for him and themselves.
“There is no one in the industry who needs help more than me but I will never beg or campaign for financial assistance like the other artists of my generation,” Kodu told The Express Tribune. “I am experiencing a very difficult time right now but at least it is passing. I may not own this small room where I am living, my three children may not be working either. There is no source of income for our family so you can imagine what our situation is like.”
But troubling times have not broken Kodu’s spirit. “I make it a point to thank God every time, no matter what situation I am in. last year, I lost control over my own body and cannot move without assistance anymore. Besides this, my family and I are dealing with sheer poverty and hunger but everyone has some rules and mine is that I will never beg,” he said.
“I will never complain to anyone because after all, it’s the Pakistani people who gave me so much love and respect during my career. I have requested the government for help through a proper channel; maybe the officials will consider it. But I want silent support so that I can protect my self-respect.”
Nonetheless, Kodu is quite disappointed by the general treatment of artists in Pakistani society. “I started my career in 1981 with stars like Sultan Rahi in Sauday Baaz, when I was just 13 years old. It was my good fortune that I got that chance to prove myself in the industry at such a young age,” he recalled. “I enjoyed the same popularity as part of PTV through roles such as the one I played in Aashiyana. I think the reason for my success was just good comedy and acting.”
Kodu further reminisced of the golden days of his career. “There was a time when I was on the peak of my popularity both in India and Pakistan. In fact, I used to get plenty of offers from Bollywood too but I refused them all, in protest of India demolishing the Bari Mosque,” he shared. “I have always opposed vulgarity and searched for quality work. I still want to work more so maybe, after getting back to health, I can come back to stage. But for that, I need prayers and all the support our government can give.”