Humanity trumps talk of war

Published: September 1, 2015
Saba Tariq Ahmed. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Saba Tariq Ahmed. PHOTO: EXPRESS


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.

Sixteen-year-old Saba Tariq Ahmed from Karachi is afflicted with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder, and Indian citizens are raising money for her treatment, disregarding the tension between the two countries.

Saba needs 1 million Indian rupees (approx Rs1.57 million), and our neighbours have so far contributed 400,000 rupees (Rs626,976).

Among the donors are Jayesh Vora and Mehul Doshi, who have donated 200,000 rupees (Rs313,559) out of their own pockets to Saba’s family.

Talking to The Express Tribune over the phone, Vora said he read in the newspaper that the family required money. “I have told Saba’s mother that we won’t let them go until Saba is fine.”

He said he wanted to convey a message to Pakistani citizens that Indians were just like them and that they were with them in their time of need, and to dispel the preconceived notions that ‘all Indians are like this and all Pakistanis are like that’.

Vora, a businessman, often goes to Dubai, where he has witnessed Pakistanis and Indians on good terms. Recalling an incident, he said that once when he was unable to drive, he called a Pakistani driver to come to Dubai and take him and his wife home. “He was in Sharjah but he reached us in only 20 minutes.”

Islamabad and New Delhi can call off their talks, but Vora believes that person-to-person contact should always remain among the two countries, which is stronger than any diplomatic ties.

Saba’s mother Nazia told The Express Tribune that she had received immense love and support from the Indians. “I’ve never felt that I’m away in another country. They always make me feel at home here (in India).”

Resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar in Karachi, Nazia said Saba was a normal girl and had cleared her matriculation exams with ‘A’ grade.

However, a year ago she showed symptoms of the disease and was later diagnosed with it. She believes intermarriages in the family could have caused the disease. “There is no proper treatment of this disease in Pakistan, so we had to bring her to India.”

Nazia and her daughter first went to India back in May for 45 days. The mother said: “I was scared, as Indians don’t like us much. But my views changed. They are very loving.”

The mother and daughter arrived in India again last week. From getting her admitted in the hospital to taking care of other needs, Nazia is thankful to the Indians. “I hope more people contribute so that my girl can come back home fit and fine.”

Saba’s doctor, Dr Abha Nagral of the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, where Saba is being treated, said the medicines needed for her treatment needed to be imported from the UK and the US, which was the reason for the delay in and the cost of treatment. “Her condition is stable but there’s room for improvement.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • MK
    Sep 1, 2015 - 9:55AM

    Stories like these needs to be covered by the main stream media of Pakistan and India to put pressure on both governments to strive for a better relationship. This is not just one isolated instance, there are many both sides of the border.

    Living abroad, we work, live, eat with Indian’s and they are just like us with no animosity or hatred in their hearts. It’s just the Government’s who needs the tension to be there for so many reasons. I hope , wish and pray that the sanity prevails and people to people relationship can be strong.Recommend

  • Point
    Sep 1, 2015 - 10:19AM

    Beautiful, thank you the kind citizens of IndiaRecommend

  • JSM
    Sep 1, 2015 - 10:26AM

    Humanity is above nationalism and patritism.Recommend

  • hari
    Sep 1, 2015 - 10:44AM

    Wilson’s disease is pretty difficult to cure. It has to be managed lifelong. All the best to her and may she and her kith and kin have inner strength to withstand the tests of timeRecommend

  • Ahmed
    Sep 1, 2015 - 11:23AM

    It is very kind of India to treat the Pakistani patients while having their own countless poor patients suffering across the India. Hats off to them for this hospitality. Recommend

  • IndiaDude
    Sep 1, 2015 - 11:57AM

    @MK, could not agree more with you, bro. Wish there many more people on both sides of the border who harbor no animosity in their hearts. I know of a lot more similar stories of the sick from Pakistan being treated in India with utmost love & care. The question is, why such beautiful stories are not are given the due space. And whose interest does it serve?

    Living abroad, as you rightly said, we live & work together & observe no such hateful feelings. But when you read spiteful comments on such platforms, you really wonder who are the real people. Recommend

  • Jude Allen
    Sep 1, 2015 - 12:38PM

    That’s an eye opener for sure :)Recommend

  • Haider bari
    Sep 1, 2015 - 1:09PM

    My elder sister is suffering from the same disease she is 35 and from last 6years she is not well at all we went to the same hospital due to funds shortage we had to return and i remember saba’s parents contacted us, and we them her these details, saba will be alright soon inshAllah.
    No body can imagine how hard it is to live your life normally for 30years and then suddenly you are on bed with 100% perfect mind :( Recommend

  • AsifButt
    Sep 1, 2015 - 1:39PM

    It is people like you on both sides of the border who need to keep quiet.
    Learn to be a bridge , not a provoker.Recommend

  • Dr. O Ishtiaq
    Sep 1, 2015 - 2:59PM

    The treatment of Wilson’s disease is available in Pakistan. If she needs Liver Transplant, it is being done in two centers in Pakistan ie. Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad and Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore. We Pakistanis are more generous than anybody else, so arrangement of funds for treatment wouldnt be difficult. Recommend

  • AsifButt
    Sep 1, 2015 - 3:39PM

    @Dr. O Ishtiaq:
    Dr sab its not fair to say what you are saying. The world is full of God fearing & God loving people. The world is a VERY big place and your views are trying to narrow it down.

    Besides , you sound very illogical as well. Were Pakistanis most generous as you are saying , then why this has happened in first place ?

    b.t.w I am a Pakistani…..Recommend

  • Sep 1, 2015 - 3:42PM

    Very nice to hear that this media published positive news. In addition to the above incident, just request you to also cover best medical treatment availed by lacs of people including pakistanis, absolutely free of cost at various hospitals run by Sri Satya Sai Trust in Puttaparthy, Bangalore, Raipur etc… These hospitals provide the best tertiary care absolutely free of costs to all needy irrespective of caste creed religion gender nationality with the motto “LOVE ALL SERVE ALL”.. The pakistan government can also think of establishing similar hospital in pakistan for the well being of citizens.. There is no dearth of good people in the world..just that the wealth is not controlled by the good.. and negative news is given importance for the sake of exciting the minds of general public..Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Sep 1, 2015 - 3:43PM

    @Dr. O Ishtiaq:
    @Haider bari:
    Dr. Sahib can you contact mr. Haider bari? His sister is suffering from same disease. Hope you can help them.Recommend

  • hnr
    Sep 1, 2015 - 10:04PM

    @Dr. O Ishtiaq:
    You must understand that ther are many Pakistanis who come to India for treatment because it is beyond their reach to go elsewhere.Indians have hosted them and often treated them is sheer humanity and has nothing to do with race or religion.In any big city in India a few Pakistanis and others from neighbouring nations like Bangladesh will be undergoing medical treatment and there is nothing unusual about this.Wish this person to person response was treated with greater understanding and sympathy to make the world a better place.Recommend

  • Karachi Dude
    Sep 1, 2015 - 11:08PM

    Dear Mr.Vora , If you are reading this , a lot of respect for you .
    It is people like you who make this world liveable .May you be blessed Sir .

    Love from Karachi .Recommend

  • Sanam Noor
    Sep 10, 2015 - 7:18PM

    @Dr. O Ishtiaq: Saba’s family tried hard to receive some funds in Pakistan but no one wanted to give her money, except one doctor. Even the media did not help her. The doctors in Karachi did not give her any attention and Aga Khan hospital asked Saba’s family to take her home because she was only occupying a bad for nothing…and then you say we are the best when you dont even know what this family has gone through…Recommend

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