Battling with head cancer and having lost one eye due to lack of treatment, Punjabi satirist Hari Singh Dilbar (85), known for his four- and six-line poems in literary circles, is preparing for the Republic Day kavi sammelan at the historic Red Fort in Delhi once again, with no complaints against anyone.
Dilbar, who has 2,500 poems to his credit has made Punjabi language proud by reciting poems at the annual poetic symposia held at the Red Fort to mark the Republic Day and Independence Day for more than 100 times.
“I have been fighting with cancer for the past five years in the same spirit as I have been contributing to Punjabi literature by living for it in a manner very few people can do”, said Dilbar, who currently lives with his son Sukhdev Singh in a sleepy colony near railway line in Sirsa town.
Dilbar, who was awarded by Harman Radio of Australia in 2013, said that as he has no resources to bear the expenses for the treatment of cancer at private hospitals, he has taken recourse to cow urine therapy.
“The therapy is bringing in some signs of recovery and I would like to continue it till I can avail something better than this”, he said.
Bhupinder Panniwalia, a poet colleague of Dilbar, commented: “On Independence Day, Dilbar received thunderous applause from audience for his ‘achhe din’ poem at the kavi sammelan organised at the Red Fort by Punjabi academy in Delhi, but how tragic that he himself is going through bad days”.
On seeking monetary help from the government for treatment, Dilbar said, “Everyone knows me well and my health condition. I have also written about it to the authorities concerned but to no avail”.
Dilbar said he also had the honour to recite his couplets at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi twice during the tenure of former presidents Giani Zail Singh and Zakir Hussain.
Asked about his future plans for treatment of cancer, Dilbar said, “At present, I am busy in composing poems to be recited at the Red Fort event. For the past five years, my health issue has been highlighted several times in the media, but no academy, institution, government department or official has come forward to help me so far”.
When contacted, Sirsa deputy commissioner Nikhil Gajraj, said he would recommend Dilbar’s name for some government scheme under which financial support could be given to such people.