Published: 06th September 2020
Urdu and then some: Poet Ankit Gupta's urge to help people and children is inspiring
Ankit Gupta's love for Urdu poetry is intense. Just as intense as his love for social service. He has providing smartphones to more than 75 kids in North India from the funds he has generate so far
India is known for its diversity, not just in culture and traditions but for the different languages we speak across the country. And Urdu is one of these rich languages. It is one of the 22 constitutionally recognised languages of India and it holds official status in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi. However, this language, which was once known for its rich literature and prominence, is now forgotten and restricted to a mother tongue of a particular community in India. Ankit Gupta who is a content writer by profession is now reviving the language through his poetry and shayari. He says, "I was introduced to Mirza Ghalib's Urdu poetry when I was class XII and I fell in love with Urdu literature. His literature speaks beautifully about life and that's what I liked. When I was 14 years old, I started writing Urdu poetry too."
Ankit who is a native of Bhopal, has already written five books of Urdu poetry. His first book was published in 2012 titled Numaishye. The latest book that he published is Behind the Curtain which is translated to English from his book Zindagi Ki Kadam Pe. "Zindagi Ki Kadam Pe includes the work of four different poets including me. It has a total of 100 poems and they focus mostly on the social issues that we face. Currently, I am working on my latest book which is yet to be named. It is about letters of lovewhich are undelivered but express the love between two people. I hope to publish it soon."
Despite his best efforts, Ankit feels that we are forgetting the rich heritage behind Urdu literature. "Fewer people read it and understand. I strongly believe that languages don't belong to one community and if Urdu literature has to survive, then a lot of people must take interest to know, read and understand it. According to me, the extinction of a particular language, symbolises the extinction of a particular civilisation."
It's time to help people
Aside from his interest in Urdu literature, Ankit has been into social service for a few years now. One of the recent initiatives he has taken up is reaching out to youngsters who have been facing mental health issues during this lockdown. He explains, "After the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, many individuals started posting on the social media that people who face mental health issues can call and talk to them. But we will not be able to find a solution to their problems by just talking to them. That's why I posted on my Twitter account, Kisse Kahaaniyan, about the financial assistance I can offer those seeking counselling. Each session costs up to ` 2,500 and some people are unable to pay that money. So, people who need the help can send me a photo of the doctor's prescription oe bill, and I will either pay the doctor directly or transfer it to the person's account. I am proud to have already helped 25 such people so far."
Smartphones for education
Similar to providing financial assistance to people suffering from mental health issues, Ankit raised funds from several individuals to provide smartphones to poor kids across North India. Ankit has provided smartphones to 75 kids so far. Not just the phone, he has also pitched in to recharge and provide internet packages from his own money or from the funds he has received.
Sharing an incident that he came across while distributing smartphones, he says, "I came across this girl in Kurukshetra, Haryana who had lost her father a few years ago and her mother suffered from polio. I was able to gather funds online and deliver the smartphone to her on August 10. Similarly, a boy from Pune studying in class VII was also provided with a smartphone recently. This way, I have been able to help 20 students from different states including Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra."
Curious to know how he has been able to generate for all these initiatives, we asked him about it. Anikit says, "Raising funds is not an easy task but I have been into social work for a long time now. When the Delhi riots happened recently, a lot of people's house and shops were burnt. Most of them lost their livelihood and families. From then on, I started raising funds through individuals and companies. While I was able to help these people with food and clothing with whatever money I raised through funds, some money was still left in the bank which I utilised to provide essentials, medicines and other commodities to poor people during COVID lockdown. I have been able to help more than 3.5 lakh people so far in this lockdown."