Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Pakistan damaged in recent rains

The actor, who died on July 7, 2021, in Mumbai at the age of 98, had always held the city of Peshawar close to his heart and would reminisce about his childhood memories.

Dilip Kumar (Photo by STRDEL/AFP via Getty Images)

By:
Mohnish Singh

Legendary late actor Dilip Kumar‘s ancestral home in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a national heritage, is almost on the verge of collapse after being severely damaged in the recent rains, an official has said.

The torrential rains fully exposed tall claims of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Archive Department about the rehabilitation and renovation of the house.

Kumar was born in 1922 in the house, located in Mohallah Khudadad at the back side of historic Qissa Khwani Bazar in Peshawar city, and spent his initial 12 years here before leaving for India in 1932.

The house was declared Pakistan’s national heritage monument on July 13, 2014, by then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Kumar had visited his house once and sentimentally kissed the soil.

Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, Secretary of Heritage Council KPK province, said the recent rains in Peshawar badly damaged the house of Kumar.

Despite pledging so many grants by the previous KPK government, not a single penny has been spent on this national heritage to protect and preserve it, he said on the property that was built in 1880.

The property being so old, its reservation is the responsibility of the government, he said.

The local socio-political circles have expressed grave concern over the attitude of the archive department to prevent the national asset from collapsing.

The claims of the Department of Archive remained limited to press statements as on the ground no steps were taken to prevent the national heritage from natural calamity, they say.

Tourists visiting the house from across the world became disappointed after seeing the dilapidated condition of the historic asset.

Muhammad Ali Mir, who was looking after the house before it was taken over by the Archive Department, said he was properly looking after it with great care.

The condition of the house started deteriorating after it was taken over by the Archive Department and its rehab and renovation process remained restricted to news statements.

Today the property has turned into a ghost house.

“Kumar had great love and respect for the people of Peshawar and, unfortunately, our department could do nothing to protect his house from collapsing,” he said.

The actor, who died on July 7, 2021, in Mumbai at the age of 98, had always held the city of Peshawar close to his heart and would reminisce about his childhood memories.

He was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honour, in 1997.