The nightingale awaits government help
LAHORE: Pride of Performance and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz holder, folk singer Reshma, also known as the Nightingale of Desert, has now lost her voice.
Living in her home in Shama Chowk on Pir Ghazi Road, the singer is seriously ill, with an unstable blood pressure.
She talks with her family members using sign language and a feeble voice, which also cannot support her feelings. She spends all day playing with her grandchildren. Reshma’s elder son, Sawan, who is also a singer, told this scribe that due to his mother’s frail health, he gives her just liquids. “Her memory is good but she is weak, and all the day we look after her. Sometimes she tries to sing her songs, but her voice and tongue don’t support her,” he said.
Sawan said former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf had helped his mother with a Rs 2.5 million aid and a secured assistance of Rs 10,000 per month during his tenure, but after the end of his government, the financial aid was withheld. Sawan said his mother was an artiste and the ambassador of Pakistan, adding that every government honoured her and gave her love. “Even former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was a fan of my mother. Once Benazir met her in Delhi at the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin, and then in Dubai. In both the meetings, Benazir expressed her love and respect for my mother, Reshma.”
Sawan said the Indian authorities had offered Reshma to live in India permanently, but she refused the offer, saying that Pakistan had made her so she would never leave the country.
Reshma’s voice is part of the culture and recognition of Pakistan. She has served the country for around 50 years, and entertained the people across the globe with her beautiful voice. She is a national asset. The federal and Punjab governments should look after her, so that she can spend her remaining life without any financial problems.