SIALKOT: The fourth death anniversary of Sialkot-based painter and calligrapher Bashir Kanwar was observed here on Sunday.

A large number of the people visited the grave of Kanwar and offered fateha. He died on Aug 15, 2017 after a protracted illness. He was 76.

Despite having been recognized by artistic circles as a fine painter and calligrapher, Kanwar remained an unsung national hero. He struggled for the promotion of art and the establishment of an art academy in Sialkot.

He lived a very miserable life due to the lack of patronage by the government. He died in a rented house in Sialkot city’s congested Talwara Mughalaan locality here. Despite his repeated requests for financial support, the government did not pay any attention to his requests.

He ran a one-room art academy namely “Bashir Kanwar Arts Academy” to pass on painting skills to the people of the region.

His pupil Ashfaq Niaz said that Bashir Kanwar devoted his whole lifeto the promotion of the arts and only earned nothing more than a good name in society.

Kanwar wrote ‘Kalma-e-Tayyba’ on the seed of rice, besides, making images of the Kaaba and Masjid-e-Nabvi on the seeds of pulses.

His pupil Ashfaq Niaz has urged Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to provide land in Sialkot for the art academy.

He also demanded a Pride of Performance Award for Kanwar.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2021

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