Ray of happiness: Over two dozen ailing children make a wish

Various gift items distributed among kids suffering from fatal diseases

Twenty-five children suffering from different life-threatening diseases were given gifts at a ceremony organised by Make-A-Wish Foundation on Saturday. PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Organising a 'Wish Granting Ceremony', the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Pakistan, an affiliate of the international Make-A-Wish Foundation that is active in five continents, fulfilled the wishes of 25 children suffering from various life-threatening medical conditions.

The ceremony was organised at Karachi Gymkhana on Saturday. Justice Ashraf Jahan, a judge of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan, was the chief guest at the event and distributed gifts among the children.

Addressing the audience, Make-A-Wish, Pakistan founder Ishtiaq Baig said the foundation has its roots in 50 countries. "I can tell you that even at this time, the foundation would be fulfilling the wish of some child or the other in some part of the world," he said. He explained that it is his wish that no one should die without seeing her/his dream come true.

He spoke about the unique wishes of children that they try to fulfil: some wish to meet Bollywood superstar Salman Khan or sing with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, while others express a desire to perform Umrah, or become a teacher or flight attendant. Baig also mentioned that the foundation in Pakistan recently received the best affiliate award as they succeeded in granting the most unique wishes of ailing children.

Syed Aliza, who received a dollhouse from Justice Jahan, spoke to The Express Tribune. "I am fond of dolls and always wanted to play with them but my parents could not afford to buy one for me," she said, her eyes glittering. She added that it was very exciting for her to hold her wish in her hand.

Another child, Asadullah, received a video game and could not contain his happiness. "I always wanted one as I used to see the children in my neighbourhood playing with these," he said.

During her address, Justice Jahan said that she will always remember this day. "Becoming a part of granting the wishes of children gives me extraordinary joy and satisfaction," she said. She added that it is our social responsibility to understand the pain of others and support them according to our capacity.

Renowned businessman SM Munir, who was also present on the occasion, said that it feels great to be part of such a ceremony where the wishes of children are being granted. "I wish that these children get well and enjoy a great life," he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th,  2016.



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