M A I N   N E W S

Bismillah Khan ill, but “stable”
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, August 16
“Money can never be a constraint for an universally acknowledged musical asset and living heritage like Ustad Bismillah Khan” said Chief Secretary N.C. Bajpai who has asked the Varanasi district administration to ensure that the 91-year-old ailing shehnai maestro is given the best possible medical attention.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mr Bajpai said:" The district administration would decide whether to shift him to a hospital”. He also indicated that the Ustad could be brought to Lucknow if required.

However, the 91-year old Bharat Ratan awardee whose condition suddenly deteriorated today wants to be surrounded by his loved ones and has refused to be moved to a hospital leave alone out of the city.

His family doctor Nadim Jafri has finally put him on a fluid diet at his Harha Sarai residence. Commenting on his refusal to leave his house, the doctor quoting him said:" He wants to die in Kashi (Varanasi)”.

A medical statement issued by his doctor in Varanasi attributed his ill-health to age related fatigue. “He is fine today after being put on a drip. Since he is not taking anything orally for the past three days, medicines are being administered through I V lines,’’ it read.

“While he has not taken any solid diet for the past 15 days, on the whole his condition is stable,” informed his son Kazim Hussain. It was on 3 August that the Ustad was presented with an Rs 2.51 lakh cheque sent by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The legendary musician is accredited with transforming shehnai into a classical instrument from a “marriage one”.

Despite his age and frail health, Ustad Bismillah Khan had taken the lead to organise a blood donation camp to help victims of the Sankat Mochan and cantonment railway station blasts in the city in March this year.





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