The dream of three ailing Pakistani children was to meet their Salman Khan... and now, Make-A-Wish is bringing two Indian children meet Shahid Afridi
By Ishtiaq Baig
Aman ki Asha, a project initiated by Jang Group and Times of India, has been widely acclaimed by the peace-loving people from Pakistan and India. Its popularity lies in its slogan that carries the sincere desire to bridge the gap between two neighbouring countries with similar cultures and people who want to live in a peaceful region.
Aman ki Asha has organised many events bringing youth from both countries together to share each others' views and try to find ways towards everlasting peace in the region. The recent visit of three Make-A-Wish children to India to meet their favourite Bollywood hero Salman Khan was part of this mission. Salman has won hearts across the border under the Aman ki Asha campaign.
The ailing children, Hubaiba (12 yrs), Mohammad Anas (14 yrs) and Mohammad Shehroz (13 yrs), all suffering from life-threatening illnesses had told Make-A-Wish Pakistan that they dreamt of meeting their favourite Bollywood superstar, Dabangg's Chulbul Pandey and Bodyguard's Lovely Singh. Aman ki Asha made it possible and brought the children to India to meet Salman Khan and arranged an exclusive, well-organised event in Mumbai.
Shehroz and Anas wore blue-stone bracelets and sunglasses hung from the back of their collars in the style made famous by Salman Khan in Dabangg and Body Guard. Hubaiba dressed up as Sonakshi Sinha in Dabang "I will act like the heroine and ask Salman to say dialogues to me," she chirped excitedly.
Salman Khan hugged the children who were excited to be in the presence of their idol, finding it hard to believe their luck. Khan spent an hour or so with them, distributed watches from his Foundation along with other gifts. He also invited them to witness his film's shooting. The children presented him a letter signed by other ailing children who were unable to travel to meet him and inviting him to Pakistan to meet them - a request Salman readily agreed to, promising he would soon visit Pakistan to meet other Make-A-Wish children.
The children also got a tour of the city and experience India. Salman Khan appreciated the joint efforts of Aman ki Asha and Make A Wish Pakistan, and said he was grateful for the opportunity to meet the ailing children from across the border. He remembered his childhood, especially a day he spent at Hawks Bay Karachi with his siblings. It was clear that he has a soft corner for Pakistan.
I presented him with an ajrak and Sindhi topi that he put on. The getup suited him, and he uploaded his picture on facebook for his fans around the world, who declared him "Sayeen Wadera". It would not be out of place to mention that Aman ki Asha is leading from the front to motivate like-minded NGOs to follow its commendable efforts. In this case, the effort also provided pleasant moments to those who rarely have opportunities for their dreams to turn into reality. In collaboration with Aman ki Asha, Make-A-Wish India will now bring two ailing children to Pakistan to meet Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi. By granting the wishes of ailing children of both countries, Aman ki Asha is committed to the mission of "hope for peace" between the two countries.
The writer is the Founding President of Make-A-Wish Foundation Pakistan
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
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Page 12 of 178
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
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