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Jalib’s Legacy turned Laborer


Habib Jalib was a revolutionary poet, a politician, opposer of the martial law, an activist and a “poet of the masses.” Jalib died 25 years ago leaving behind a daughter who is now driving a taxi to make ends meet. In 2014, the PKR 25,000 stipend that was paid to Jalib’s wife stopped days prior to her death, leaving the family financially unstable.

Tahira Habib Jalib is working as a Careem driver after receiving a loan from a bank in Lahore to sustain the livelihood of her family. Tahira recently spoke to news reporters telling them of her predicament since the stipend was stopped. She claimed that she feels no shame in driving a car because it lives true to her father and his principles; something he did not compromise until his death.

She says: “These leaders use my father’s verses in their speeches but they do not take notice of the troubles faced by his children.”

When LESCO looked into the matter they learnt that Tahira Habib Jalib owed the company 75k in electricity bill. It was after this knowledge that LESCO decided to look into the matter deeply to see where more help could be provided.

Tahira currently lives in Mustafa town in Lahore with her sisters and children in a house that barely covers 3 marlas.

Despite trying to uphold her pride and integrity, Tahira mentioned how the government failed the family and legacy of a poet who never bent in the face of opposition. She complained how the government never demonstrated any form of empathy for her and her family.

Rida Khalid

An English Literature graduate with a passion for Psychology. An avid reader, writer, poet (self-proclaimed) and part-time fitness trainer. Currently working with NIC, Lahore. I spin words to make my narcissistic wit sound like diffident profundity. The above feels a lot like braggadocio, meh!

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