LAHORE: Senior TV star Matloob ur Rahman – famously known as Munna Lahori who played Zakoota in Ainak Wala Jinn – is in dire straits these days due to lack of work and deteriorating health. The actor has been paralysed since 2012, is also diabetic and of old age.
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According to Matloob, he has already received financial assistance from the government of Punjab some time ago but needs help again. “My health is getting worse and I don’t just want to but need to take some rest,” he told The Express Tribune. “But I have to look after my family too. I have no choice but to continue working and that’s why, I perform at the Alhamrah Hall every Sunday even though I should probably not.”
Unfortunately, Matloob barely gets by with the amount he makes. “My two children also perform with me but at the end of the month, we get only a few Rupees. I didn’t stop working after my paralysis, even though my right arm became immobile. But now, with this diabetes, my health is getting worse and worse,” he continued. “I am an artist and artists work till their last breath. I’ve done a lot for this country. But now, the government needs to do something to help me once again. It can at least get jobs for my children so they don’t have to see me this way.”
Naturally, Matloob’s family is concerned about his wellbeing as well. “The little income that my husband earns goes towards his expensive medication. Our children are also of school-going ages. Therefore, I request the government to please help us out,” said his wife. “Matloob’s health is not improving but if he stops working, we will have nothing to rely on.”
Matloob first gained popularity with Ainak Wala Jinn in 1993. The popular serial continued for about three years and his character Zakoota became a fan favourite and many who watched the show still remember his iconic dialogue, “Mujhe kaam batao, mein kya karoun, mein kis ko khaun?”
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