Having brought smiles to many-a-gloomy-faces, veteran comedian and actor Ashraf Nirala has no one to bring a smile to his.
He is losing the battle for his life for want of money. He does not have enough cash to afford his treatment; the veteran comedian has been suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes for the last many years.
“I never ever thought that I’ll be asking for financial support, but my condition compels me to do so,” Nirala told The Express Tribune. However he has little faith in the government, given how it failed to help other veteran comedians such as Babu Baral and Mastana on their deathbeds.
He appealed to Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister, and Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab chief minister, for financial support. He thanked Punjab Governor Latif Khosa for his financial help; however, he said, the amount is not enough to cover his medical expenses and he worries for his family – “what will happen to them after my death?”
The artist said his limbs have stopped functioning due to high blood pressure and diabetes and he has also lost an eye.
Nirala’s spanning career has seen him perform in the United Kingdom and Oman, among other countries.
Civil society members, taking note of his deteriorating condition, have urged the government to provide financial assistance to Nirala.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2011.