LAHORE - He is just 60 years old but after suffering from paralysis he looks octogenarian. Shakir Shuja Abadi looks a very simple person but is one of the greatest Seraiki poets to date. He has a large fan following.

He looked as if in great pain. There was grief on his face and his eyes seemed to look for something but one cannot guess. It may be relief from his illness or it could be his financial worries. He was brought to the Nisar Usmani auditorium of the Lahore Press Club on wheel chair to attend a special sitting arranged by Lahore Press Club Literary Committee in his honour.

Shakir hails from Shuja Abad, a city of South Punjab. His poetry has been published in different languages like Saraiki, Haryanvi and Urdu.  He received his first presidential award in 2007 and second presidential award in 2017.

Finance Minister of Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawann Bakhat was the chief guest of this sitting. President LPC Chaudhry Azam, Secretary LPC Abdul Majeed Sajjid, expert linguistics Zahoor Ahmad Koraija and Aurangzaib Ramis were also present.

Makhdoom Hashim also hails from south Punjab “I am well aware of the deprivations of region. I know about the popularity of Shakir in the region. Shakir is not only the representative of South Punjab but of Pakistan.

“I will discuss the matter of his health and financial woes with chief minister of Punjab that we should take steps in this regard. “We have to take care of our artistes and poets. We must take practical steps to save our cultural heritage.  We have to bring visible change in our society,” the minister said. Later in the function he presented a cheque of Rs 50,000 to Shakir Shuja.

“Language is a best tool of communication among the people and Shakir Shuja Abadi has given recognition to Saraiki language after Khwaja Ghulam Farid of Kot Mithan Sharif,” Aurangzaib Ramis.

Zahoor Ahmad Koraija stated that Shakir is the voice of region. “He used his poetry to address the problems of common and deprived people. Government should announce funds for his treatment so that he can serve his country through his poetry in a better way,” he said.

Abdul Majid said that it is honor for us to receive the Saraiki poet here in Lahore. “We request the government to make a body to take care of poets and artistes. We will make an effort for the treatment of Shakir on our behalf,” he said. 

Azam Chaudhry said that after Khwaja Ghulam farid any complement about Multan, South Punjab and Saraiki is uncompleted without Shakir. “Government must take some steps for the welfare of great artists and poets of Pakistan,” he said.

His poetry is about the world and societal issues that is laced with beautiful prose. In his poetry he discusses the issues of people such as dishonesty, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment related to the region. He is able to overcome linguistic barriers to appeal to non-Saraiki speakers.

His best-known poetry is "Tu Mehnat Kar, Tay Mehnat da silla Jaane Khuda Jaane” and "Tu dewa bal kay rakh shakir, Hawa jaane khuda jany."