LAHORE: Veteran Pakistan comedian Majid Jahangir is reportedly very ill and “in critical condition” at a hospital here in Punjab’s capital city, according to sources in his family, Geo.tv reported on Wednesday.
The comedian, who lost partial function of his body to paralysis almost five years ago, has been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital in Lahore.
According to the sources, Majid Jahangir’s condition is deeply critical, while doctors treating him at the hospital said his heart disease has worsened.
The doctors have appealed to people to pray for his health and recovery.
Back in 2018, after a fan found Majid Jahangir facing financial challenges, Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz Hussain had stepped up to bear the ailing actor’s medical expenses.
Jahangir’s picture, standing alongside a banner requesting assistance, had gone viral on social media, with people urging their friends and followers to come forward and help the veteran actor in whatever way possible.
Speech, motor challenges
Loosely translated, the banner had read: “This is an appeal to the fans of Majid Jahangir — the famous comedy artist from “Fifty Fifty” who used to make people laugh — to help him in the expenses related to the treatment of his paralysis.”
The comedian’s funds had at that time run dry, having being spent on medical bills after his paralysis.
When Geo.tv had reached out to the actor over the phone, he explained that the challenges in his life had kept piling up and that he was unable to get any kind of employment due to his sickness.
Owing to difficulties in his speech, the actor had his wife, Saba Majid, talk to Geo.tv. She said that ever since his paralysis five years ago, the couple was asked to make weekly visits to the doctor. They moved to Lahore after losing hopes of getting any assistance from the government of Sindh, the comedian’s wife had lamented at the time.
He can walk, but “with someone’s assistance”, Saba, who is a heart patient herself, had said.
Elderly veteran actors in Pakistan
Jahangir was honoured with the Pride of Performance Award — the highest accolade in Pakistan — for his memorable performance in Fifty Fifty. He worked for Pakistan Television Network (PTV) for 22 years and has, to date, starred in four films.
Pakistani actors and actresses have time and again reported to have been ignored by successive governments despite providing decades-long entertainment.
In February 2018, beloved actor Matloob-ur-Rehman, known for playing Zakoota Jin in TV series “Ainak Wala Jin”, had died in Lahore after suffering from partial paralysis. It’s “a tragedy that artists in our country are not given due respect”, he had reportedly said days before his death.
Prior to that, in October 2017, Nusrat Ara Begum, known for her portrayal of Bil Batori in the same drama, had passed away after a prolonged ailment. The last few years of her life were spent in dire poverty and struggle as she could not find employment and one of her legs was paralysed.