In 2011 I discovered Mijwan Welfare Society website and read about Kaifi Azmi.
After a brain haemorrhage he was partially paralyzed on his left side of the body, despite this disability
he returned to his birthplace Mijwan. He encouraged the development of Mijwan and in 1993 he founded the Mijwan Welfare
Society, what an achievement! Immediately, I was inspired by Kaifi Azmi and also very much by his daughter Shabana Azmi.
Due to some bad experiences with NGOs previously, I had lost my passion for NGO work and
actually forgotten most of what I had done in the past because I have paralysis on my left side due to
sclerosis. To me it was an eye-opener to read about
Kaifi Azmi and Shabana Azmi, it made me think, what can I
do for people in Mijwan.
Poems have never had my interest before I read the poem "House" by Kaifi Azmi, I was totally speechless,
suddenly, I could recall an episode I had forgotten, which was about nearly being arrested in a foreign country. The incident took place in a country in North Africa during a trip to Ghana, we were young students from Denmark invited by young students to visit them
at the university residence. It turned out we should have obtained permission from the authorities, therefore some other students called
the police. It was a very dark night, the police were after us with batons and flashlights, we ran inside a sports stadium. Although the police had lights, they did not find us. On reading
the poem I realized the power of poems. Since then I have read several poems
by Kaifi Azmi, and I ordered online the book
Selected poems, Kaifi Azmi translated by Pavan K. Varma.
When I arrived in Mijwan, people knew I
loved the poems by Kaifi Azmi. Several told me how much
Kaifi Azmi had done for the village and how much he still is in their minds. They were very touched, and it made such a huge impression on me that I,
too, got a lump in my throat.
On several occasions I was invited to celebrations at different places, and it was a huge honor for me when I was invited
as chief guest to a memorial evening
for Late Kaifi Azmi, it was a wonderful evening with lots of great artists.