A recent example of cordial relationship between India and Pakistan was seen in the case of Khadija, a 21 month old Pakistani girl, wherein Indian doctors extended a helping hand to treat her hearing imparity free of cost. About a month ago, the girl was incapable of figuring out what people around her were saying. She visited Apollo hospital in Hyderabad with her parents for a cochlear implant surgery.
Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI) and Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA) provided financial assistance to the guardians of Khadija and surgery was done free of cost by the hospital. “We have switched on the machine and she is doing well. With proper rehabilitation for the next one year or more, she should be like any ordinary girl, hearing and talking in a normal manner,” says Dr. Vinaya Kumar E.C., ENT consultant.
The actual cost of the surgery is Rs, 12 lakhs but with SAHI involvement, Adnan Adeel and Sahar Bano, the parents of Khadija, beard only travel and boarding expenses. “I didn’t realize that she was born deaf till she was 15 months old. When I took her to a hospital, I was told she needed the cochlear implant, and it would cost up to 2.5 million Pakistan rupees,” said Adnan.
While searching on the internet, he landed upon the website page of Apollo hospitals SAHI initiative and sent them an email for inquiry; as such operations weren’t very common in Pakistan. “I took out all my savings, raised a loan, and even began scouring for donations, as it is my responsibility to give her a better life. Except for SAHI, no one responded,” he explains.
“We have helped in 100 cochlear implant operations, yet this was the first request from abroad. We were apprehensive at first, and then realized that we are here to help any needy child,” says Dr. Sunita Reddy, Director, Vijay Group, and a SAHI member. “My daughter got a new life here. The love, affection and care extended to us are beyond my expectations. These memories will remain lifelong; I came here as a family of three, and I am returning home with a large family,” said Adeel, preparing for the flight back home.