Mumbai/Karachi, Oct 13: At a time when India and Pakistan are warring over ceasefire violations at the border and Maharashtra's Shiv Sena workers are throwing black paint over an event organiser for holding the book launch of a former Pakistani foreign minister, a heart-warming story has come to the fore.
In a proud deed, some Mumbaikars crowdfunded a Karachi-based teenager's medical treatment!
The move comes as a tight slap on those who want to disrupt harmony between two nations by indulging in divisive acts. Let's know the entire story of 16-year-old Saba Tariq Ahmed for whom some Indians embraced her and turned a sort of 'Bajrangi Bhaijans', in her battle for life.
Saba, who was suffering from a rare genetic disorder, Wilson's disease, that results in poisonous accumulation of copper in the body, had come to Mumbai with her mother Nazia, and was admitted for 49 days at Mumbai's Jaslok hospital.
To help Saba come out from the disorder, 'Bluebells Community', an Indian NGO raised funds worth Rs 7 lakh for her medical treatment, between April to May this year. The NGO not only helped her financially, but also connected with her emotionally.
Mumbai-based Bluebells launched a 'Save Saba' campaign on Facebook.
In August 2015, the online crowdfunding started raising a fund of Rs 10 lakh for a three-month treatment to afford an alternative medication, that is not easily available in India and Pakistan.
Ms Shabia Ravi Walia, the Founder & Worker at 'The Bluebells Community' told TOI that as their efforts to collect funds for Saba went viral, then international NGOs also stepped in.
Shabia was quoted saying as, "An American NGO, Rachel and Drew Katz Foundation, contributed Rs 4 lakh and a London-based NGO promised free supply of medicines for Saba."
On Aug 24, Saba landed in Mumbai along with her mother. At that time, was wheelchair-bound, could not speak and had tremors and abnormal involuntary movements due to the severity of the disease, the TOI report said.
"Two generous Indians, Jayesh Vora and Mehul Doshi, donated Rs 2 lakh each to Saba's family for her treatment", Asian Age reported.
Dr Aabha Nagral, who treated Saba, with physiotherapy and medication said that 100 capsules of Trientine cost Rs 84,000 and Saba was required to take five capsules a day.
Interestingly, Saba is a big fan of Bollywood hearthrob actor Salman Khan, who is well-known in Pakistan for not only his blockbuster movies but also for his kind-heartedness.
To make Saba feel happy and better, Dr Aabha took Saba to a Salman Khan-themed restaurant, Bhaijaanz in Bandra West.
Recently released Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijan starring Salman Khan managed to bridge a gap that the political leaders of both countries has failed to do.
After an overwhelming support from Indians for her treatment, Saba and her mother Nazia left for Karachi, with the feelings of warmth, love, affection and happiness for Mumbai.
Saba's story and her tryst with India also caught the attention of Pakistani media for the magnanimous gesture.
Pakistan's Ary News reported, "Mumbai populace while donating for the Pakistani teen helped raise Indian Rs 450,000, with the help of which Nazia can continue the treatment of her daughter at Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital."
The Express Tribune gave a headline "Humanity trumps talk of war" and said, "As the Indian forces are slaying Pakistani civilians in unprovoked shelling along the working boundary, some Indian citizens are trying to save the life of a teenage girl from Pakistan who is admitted in a hospital in Mumbai."
Hail Incredible India!
Sixteen-year-old Saba Tariq Ahmed from Karachi is afflicted with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder, and Indian...Posted by SPARC - Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child onMonday, August 31, 2015
#Partoutloud I was very happy to be proud of '#SaveSaba' campaign alongwith #TheBluebellsCommunity and Ishita Anand,...Posted by Shabia Ravi Walia onWednesday, October 7, 2015