Salman Yousafzai

PESHAWAR: Famous Pashto humorous poet Akmal Lewanay is having a difficult time nowadays due to lack of resources for his medical treatment.

Such is the current state of the poor poet that he has now presented his books for auction to arrange money for his treatment. Akmal Lewanay has problem in his knees on which he has spent lakhs of rupees, but there is no improvement.

The 74-year-old poet said while talking to TNN that he cannot afford to pay hefty fee of doctors and buy expensive medicines, and now he has presented his books for auction to arrange money for further treatment.

Akmal Lewanay is known for his interesting poetry with humour and satire and his presence was considered mandatory in the Mushairas (poetic symposiums) until recently. He used to arrange stall of Pashto books at every Mushaira which was a source of income for him and a way for him to serve the cause of Pashto literature. But that has come to an end now after the illness of Akmal Lewanay.

Akmal Lewanay told TNN that he was attending Mushairas and arranging book stalls for the last 50 years in which the lovers of Pashto literature used to take keen interest. He said that practice was a source of income for him and his life was well set, but his knee surgery in March last year wasn’t successful and he is confined to his bed since then.

Akmal said he has a collection of 6,000 Pashto books in his home and he wants to sale these books, but can’t do so due to health reasons. The announcement of Akmal Lewanay about selling his books went viral on social media after which many people have came forward to extend help to him. Bacha Khan Trust is one such helper which has announced Rs100,000 assistance for the veteran poet.

The Awami National Party (ANP) provincial culture secretary Khadim Hussain said in a tweet that the Trust will send a delegation to meet Akmal and hand over the amount soon.

Akmal Lewanay was born in 1948 in Shamozai village of Katlang tehsil in Mardan. His education could not kick start as his father died when he was too young. He used to bring grass from a nearby mountain and sale it to make ends meet.

The winner of several awards, Akmal has published three collections of his poetry including Chapawoona, Lewantob (madness) and Tortam (complete darkness). The eminent poet said he had not imagined when he was not ill that he would depend on assistance of others one day. He said he wants to resume his poetry and book selling after recovering from ailment.