Double-kidney transplant: Governor supports Alamgir with $50,000

Published: May 22, 2012

Alamgir addressing a press conference at the Karachi Arts Council. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ MOHAMMAD SAQUIB

KARACHI: 

The excitement surrounding singer Alamgir’s trip to Pakistan ended with his departure back to Atlanta, US scheduled for Monday night. 

The Pakistani pop icon was back home to raise funds for a double kidney transplant after he was diagnosed with double kidney failure in 2004. He has been regularly going for dialysis since then. His trip was, however, fruitful as his press conference at the Karachi Arts Council proved; he announced that Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad had made a significant contribution of fifty thousand dollars.

“The smile that you are seeing on my face is because of the immense support of the governor and the Arts Council,” he told the media. “Fifty thousand dollars is a huge amount and I can’t thank them enough.”

Alamgir was accompanied by the president of Karachi Arts Council, Ahmed Shah, who had played a crucial role in helping acquire the funds.

“When I heard about Alamgir’s health I immediately contacted the cultural ministry but they weren’t very efficient,” Shah said. “However, the governor surprised us all by such a quick and effective response.”

According to Alamgir, the entire procedure of buying a potential kidney and having the transplant costs a hundred thousand dollars. “The doctors had warned me about my deteriorating health well in advance which is why I had started to do some fund-raising concerts in the US.” The Pakistani community was supportive and he made $35,000 on his own.

For his part, Shah was excited about the support that Alamgir has received in Pakistan and announced that they would organise a Jashne-e-Alamgir once the singer returns to Pakistan in September after sorting out his transplant.

In an earlier interview with The Express Tribune, Alamgir had said that Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) had been in contact but its policy about donors was quite strict. They had told him that only a family donor would be entertained. “But that is not possible as my whole family has polycystic kidney disease,” he said. “So I have to look for kidneys [outside] my family.”

TV producer Athar Waqar Azeem, who is now a part of HUM TV, was present at the press conference.

“I remember Alamgir from the time when he used to play the guitar in Sohail Rana’s music show and since then his passion hasn’t died,” he recalled. “A couple of days back he was about to collapse in a music performance and I asked him to rest but he didn’t listen to me and said that as singer it was his duty to entertain them and he would.”

Alamgir ended the press conference by singing Pankaj Malik’s classic “Yeh Raatein” and followed it by a dua or prayer in Arabic that he recited for everyone’s well being.

In Pakistan commercial kidney transplants are illegal, that is if you buy a kidney from someone. If there is an unrelated donor, you have to present the case first to SIUT, who evaluates that there is an acquaintance and no cash has exchanged hands. It then sends the case to the Human Organ Transplantation Authority for further evaluation and approval.

“If you have a living family donor, SIUT will charge you nothing,” explained Prof. of Pathology Dr Mirza Naqi Zafar of SIUT. “If you don’t have a family donor, SIUT will not take your case.”

The only unrelated donors SIUT takes for transplantation are husband and wife cases.

In Lahore some hospitals may charge as much as Rs300,000 to Rs400,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Marium
    May 22, 2012 - 4:18AM

    I do not particularly like the MQM. yet Mr Ishrat should be commended for what has has done for Alamgir and what he did for Pakistani and Indian hostages in Somalian Pirate ship.

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  • Pungi
    May 22, 2012 - 4:38AM

    I think may of us didn’t know about his disease and procedure to contribute…otherwise donations would have been much more than what he has got now..!
    Our wishes r with Legend Alamgir…Get well soon!!

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  • AK47
    May 22, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Why most of the artists have kidney problems?

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  • Deeds
    May 22, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Alamgir has contributed a lot to a positive Pakistan. Its good that Pakistan is also honoring him and paying back to this gentleman.

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  • abs
    May 22, 2012 - 11:12AM

    May Allah bless him with health

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  • syed Parwez Hussain
    May 22, 2012 - 11:36AM

    I do not know why Ms.Marium do not like MQM ? While Ministers of MQM are always very helpful and supportive for all the noble cause. If you want to confirm my statement just go to them and discuss your problem with the MQM Ministers and PPP ministers you will see the difference very soon. PPP’s ministers are holding their post for earning money while MQM leaders are holding their post for betterment of the people. I do not deny that they are not making money but in the mean time they are doing good job without any discrimination. The people like Mustafa Kamal, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Dr. Ishrat,.Haider Abbas Rizvi, Sabzwari, Raza Haroon, can change the scnerio of country.

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  • M. Aamir Khan
    May 22, 2012 - 11:46AM

    May Allah SWT bless him healthy life and safe recovery…

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  • M. Ahmed
    May 22, 2012 - 1:11PM

    “In Pakistan commercial kidney transplants are illegal, that is if you buy a kidney from someone. If there is an unrelated door, you have to present the case first to SIUT, who evaluates that there is an ….”

    Please correct “donor” in the above para marked asterisk. Thanks.

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  • Uza Syed
    May 22, 2012 - 1:16PM

    Do appreciate this Dr. Ishrat Ebad, he is our Governor and he is a man from MQM and he does come up to people when they need him. Whether I like MQM or the Governor or
    Dr. Ebad is of least significance, what is important and of consequence is that our government i.e. our Governor has done what must be done and that’s how you tell your stars that we the people do care and love and thank you for all you did for us. Governor Dr. Ebad represented us well, good man Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad.

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  • muzzie d
    May 22, 2012 - 5:32PM

    Actions speak louder than words. lets see how much of this “$50,000″ will actually go to alamgir and where indeed it will come from. certainly not his own pocket, i’m sure. Recommend

  • Yousaf Hyat
    May 22, 2012 - 6:07PM

    50000 usd could have bought the latest dialysis machines and donated to the poor residents of Karachi —THAT WOULD HELP Thousands of people with no place to turn to ……that is what public funds are for not just for one individual…bad show …nothing has changed .shameful.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 22, 2012 - 6:49PM

    A day before yesterday, I came across on the Internet Alamgirs patriotic song “tum he say a mujahido, jahaan ka sbaat hay” sung for Pakistan Air Force (which I watched several times due to its melodic tune and sweet vocals of Alamgir), and suddenly I realized his absence from the screen for a long time. He is one of the finest vocalists of Pakistan and everything possible should be done for him. I wish our political leaders also pay some attention to address the grievance of a commoner as well.

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  • Visibly Invisible
    May 22, 2012 - 8:30PM

    My heart goes out for Alamgir, but Public funds should be used for Public good. A little investigative journalism would have been good if ET mentions the source of $50K.

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  • Haseeb5111
    May 23, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Irrespective of political issue Governor Sindh has done an excellent job,and precedent of others.

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  • Sal2486
    May 24, 2012 - 7:34AM

    In response to the comment of Yousaf Hyat, i would like to say that there is a fund which is not used for the well known individuals only but also for the common people like baby having six legs, young girl Yumna having critical heart problem, and haleema bibi from ghotki etc.. These common people has also got treatment from the same funds. In my opinion this is exaclty the way in which public funds should be used. And i also know the fact that governor sindh has ordered eight dialysis machines for the different hospitals of sindh and this effort is taking place from the same funds. May Allah give us the ability to understand and appreciate good deeds of his kind hearted personalities.

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  • Maz Rizvi
    May 25, 2012 - 9:36PM

    God bless Dr. Isharat ul Ibad Khan who contributed in saving my ideal pop start. He deserves huge appreciation for his good work for needy Pakistanis disregarding their cast culture or religion. This definitely is the teaching of his party MQM and the vision of his leader Altaf Hussain which makes him set examples like this…

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  • mrk
    May 26, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Don’t understand what’s all this praise of the governor is about? He directed our funds (a very small part) to be given to Alamgir for treatment. I do not have a problem with that – okay, given to an artist. However, whether a government official orders dialysis machines or spends money on a public facility, it’s your money that you have elected them to spend while being accountable to you. In fact, only a small percentage of the funds taken from taxes or borrowed in your (all pakistanis) name are being used. Unless this comes out of someone’s personal funds, there’s no need to be tahnking him for his genoricity. It is our genoricity that handover the keys to our futures in the hands of politicians and then endlessly thank them when hand a small amount back. Long live Pakistan!

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