Aleem Khan takes notice of homeless old poet’s plight


Robina Parveen admitted to Punjab Institute of Mental Health, Team Aleem Khan to arrange permanent residence for her as well

LAHORE: Taking notice of news item published in Pakistan Today, Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan has announced the provision of medical treatment, shelter and a monthly stipend for an old poet, leading a miserable life while being forced to live in a makeshift shanty near Chauburji.

50-year-old Robina Parveen, who had been forced to live in a makeshift shanty near the Chauburji area police station of the provincial capital for last four years, has been admitted to Punjab Institute of Mental Health and provided with shelter at the Fountain House on the directions of Aleem Khan.

The senior minister has also announced that Team Aleem Khan will be arranging a permanent residence for Robina as well. For the time being, she has vacated her shanty and her luggage has been shifted with her consent.

A distinguished poet and journalist of her time, Robina had earlier established a shanty under the gigantic pillars of the metro bus near the Chauburji Chowk, where shreds of old newspapers and some edibles could be seen. According to her, she had been living in this condition for the past four years.

Residents claimed that her mental health was deteriorating every day and it had been observed that she was unable to speak properly anymore.

“Some influential people have forcefully occupied my printing press in Shamnagar area of the city. I have been knocking the doors of courts for the past 30 years but to no avail. The courts have failed to vacate my printing press,” she had said while speaking to Pakistan Today.

“I am here on my own. Some shopkeepers from a nearby market provide me with meals twice a day. Some passersby also help me financially at times but no one from the poet community I once belonged to ever bothered helping me,” the pale-faced poet had said.

A relative of Robina, on the condition of anonymity, had said that her brothers had occupied her ancestral house. “Her brothers are the ones who have forced her to lead such a miserable life. First, they occupied her house then forced her to leave. Robina got married twice but unfortunately both her marriages failed,” they had said, urging the media and courts to help Robina.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, poet Farah Shah had also lamented that the authorities concerned had left Robina in such a condition and said that she would do her best for Robina’s well-being. Farah had said she had recently visited Robina at her shanty and insisted her to abandon it. She added that she had advised her to move into some government-run shelter.

Senior journalist Malik Aslam had expressed shock over the miserable condition of the poet and told this scribe how she used to participate in poetry events at venues such as Alhamra and Chopal along with other renowned poets.

He had appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Cultural Minister Fayazul Hasan Chohan to take notice of Robina’s deplorable condition and arrange a shelter for her besides providing her with a monthly stipend so that she could live a life of dignity.