Mumbai: At a time when anti-Pakistan sentiments are high in India, some generous Indians came forward to collect funds to the tune of Rs 13 lakh for the treatment of a Pakistani girl suffering from Wilson's disease at a hospital here.
According to a report published in “The Times of India” on Thursday, 15-year-old Karachi resident Saba Tariq Ahmed, who suffers from Wilson's disease - a disorder that results in poisonous accumulation of copper in the body - had come to Mumbai for treatment sometimes back.
She was undergoing treatment at the famous Jaslok hospital here.
What makes her story special is the fact that during her 49-day stay in Mumbai, she received financial help from some big hearted Indian not once, but twice between April and October.
The first time was in April-May, when an NGO, Bluebells Community, raised Rs 7 lakh from Mumbaikars to help Saba.
"But Saba did not respond too well to the regularly prescribed medicines for Wilson's disease, " Dr Aabha Nagral- a liver specialist - who has been treating the teen was quoted as saying.
Dr Nagral added that Saba needed a change of medication, as well as physiotherapy to regain her movement.
As Saba's condition deteriorated in Karachi, more Indians stepped in to help. "When Saba's condition started worsening on her return to Karachi in May, Nazia contacted me, seeking help," said Shabia Walia of Bluebells Community.
The online crowdfunding effort started on Independence Day to collect Rs 10 lakh for a three-month treatment with an alternative medication that is not freely available in India or Pakistan.
"We spread Saba's story so far and wide that we got an American NGO, Rachel and Drew Katz Foundation, contributing Rs 4 lakh and a London-based NGO promising free supply of medicines,'' said Walia.
When Bluebells Community volunteers received Saba at Mumbai airport on August 24, she was wheelchair-bound, could not speak and had tremors and abnormal involuntary movements due to the severity of the disease.
However, after being cured completely, Saba and her mother, Nazia, boarded an afternoon flight for Karachi on Monday with pleasant memories and wishes from Indians.
All this happened at a time when round the time when some Shiv Sena activists blackened former journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni's face for organising the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri here.