Would you buy a poem if it could save someone’s life?
In a unique yet heart-warming way of raising funds for a friend diagnosed with cancer, a poet from Chandigarh is leaving no ‘poems’ unturned and doing everything she can with her words.
Anam Narula and Amy Singh became friends thanks to their common love for poetry and nothing seems more apt than using the same medium to help.
A student of DAV college, Chandigarh, 21-year old Anam was diagnosed with Adult Acute Myeloid Leukaemia towards the end of May this year. Coming from a not-so-stable financial background, he almost lost the will to live thinking of himself as a burden to his family. He had almost made peace with the fact that he wouldn’t live long.
But Amy, a poetess and a theatre artiste, would not give in without a fight. Initially, she had posted an emotional note on Facebook that not just urged people to help Anam but also spoke about the loss of her own mother to cancer.
In a matter of a few hours, she came up with the idea of writing poems that people could buy and immediately posted it as well.
“I had not been working for more than two months and had no savings with which I could help him financially. But then I thought what if I wrote poems on request and charge people for those? The money could be used for Anam’s treatment. And poetry was something I knew I was good at and that motivated me to at least try it”, Amy says.
Though initially expecting to raise around ₹10,000 to ₹15,000, Amy didn’t expect the campaign would be able to gain momentum this fast.
“The response that I had received was beyond belief. The sheer extent of positivity and willingness to help not just boosted Anam up but also gave him hope and strength that he can survive this,” she adds.
The first few hours of sharing Anam’s account details on her wall saw people immediately transferring money to his account. Following this, Amy created a Facebook page and organized an on-the-spot poem-writing event at Panjab University, where she was able to raise almost ₹90,000.
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“And I was not alone in this. Many poets from Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Pune with whom we were connected through a spoken word platform chipped in to help me with the poems. Their support was very vital for me,” Amy says.
Having lost her mother to cancer, Amy’s compassionate act is overwhelming. “ It isn’t only because Anam is my friend. I know how it feels to lose a loved one. If the poems that I write can help a person have another chance to live, I would continue to do it,” she insists.
Currently awaiting a bone marrow biopsy, post the first chemotherapy session at Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, Anam remains motivated.
“Though physically he is weak, I have never quite seen a person with more mental strength. And the love and support people have been sharing keeps him going. In fact, he wants each of those posts to be answered and thanked for the motivation they instil in him”, she mentions.
With an aim of raising around ₹20 lakh as estimated by the doctors at CMC, Amy’s online poetry campaign has been attracting a lot of attention and they have partnered with the Milaap foundation, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the country.
Here’s hoping that acts like Amy’s, simple but fuelled by determination, can change, or save, lives.
You can get in touch with Amy Singh here.
If you wish to help Anam, you can contribute here.