LAHORE-The fifth death anniversary of Pakistan’s celebrated folk singer Reshma was observed nationwide on Saturday. Reshma was born in Bikander, Rajasthan to the Banjara family around the year 1947. Having received no formal education, she was only 12 when she was spotted singing at Shahbaz Qalander’s shrine by a television and radio producer, who arranged for her to record “Laal Meri” on Pakistan radio.

The song was an instant hit, and Reshma went on to become one of the most popular folk singers of Pakistan, appearing on television in the 1960s, as well as recording songs for both the Pakistani and Indian film industry. She used to perform in live shows both nationally and internationally.

Her famous songs include Dama Dam Mast Kalandar, Wey mein chori chori, Ankhiyan nu rehan de and Lambi Judai.

In 2004, she recorded “Ashkan Di Gali Vich Mukaam De Gaya”, which was used in the Bollywood film Woh Tera Naam Tha, and was also a hit record in India

Reshma was awarded several national awards; she held prestigious awards including Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Legends of Pakistan given by the President of Pakistan.

Reshma was diagnosed with throat cancer in the 1980s. In later years, her health deteriorated, leading President Pervez Musharraf to come to her aid, giving her Rs1 million to help pay off a bank loan, as well as putting her on a secured assistance of Rs10,000 per month. He also helped her secure a piece of land for herself, but that did not go through due to the change in government.

She died on 3 November 2013 in Lahore after suffering from throat cancer for several years.