Jeeto Pakistan host and actor Fahad Mustafa has donated half of the required amount for a three-year-old Hindu boy, Dipesh's life-saving surgery. The cost for the bone marrow transplant amounts to Rs4 million, which has now been raised with the help of generous donors from Pakistan and abroad.
Syed Zafar Abbas, who is one of the founders of the JDC Welfare Organisation, took responsibility for raising money for the child's surgery after his father's cries for help found but a few ears.
"A three-year-old Hindu boy, whose father is a veterinarian who treats people's animals for free, found himself in a position where he could not afford to save his own son's life. He was disheartened. He went to the ARY show with me, where we made an appeal and the first person to call us after that was Fahad Mustafa," said Abbas in a video uploaded to the organisation's Facebook page. Mustafa wasn't a guest on Waseem Badami and Iqrar-ul-Hassan's show but still stepped up.
Donors from South Korea and Australia helped raise the remaining amount, he added.
Zeba Shehnaz, an actor known for her appearance in the hit comedy show Fifty Fifty, was also present at the JDC office. A longtime ally of the JDC, she thanked Mustafa for his help.
"Fahad, I am so proud of you. You are that son of my nation that I take deep pride in. They say artists are always asking for money, but today you've raised our heads with pride. May God bless you," the actor said in tears.
"He has as many fingers as my own child," Abbas said, holding the little boy, on Shan-e-Iftar on May 10. "He walks, talks and laughs just as my own son does. They're the same age. Should this child die only because he's not Muslim?"
The child suffers from thalassaemia, he clarified, adding that he has just 15 months to get a bone marrow transplant or he will not make it. A 15-month delay in the surgery would drop his chances of survival to roughly 10%, Abbas claimed.
"Just before the show, he was asleep and wasn't in the condition to be brought here, but I still brought him here out of necessity. He had to have a blood test to see how much blood he has and if he needs more," the child's father said.
He explained how he had gone to all quarters of power and wealth, compromising his self respect and asking for money for his child's treatment but was sent away because he was a non-Muslim. He's been counting the days, Abbas revealed, for how long he has to save his child's life.
The show was then interrupted by a live phone call from Main Abdul Qadir Hoon star Mustafa who said he would like to donate Rs2 million for the child's treatment. He hoped that the donation would motivate others to come forward and help as well.
"Fahad Mustafa has just donated this child half his life, and the kid doesn't even know what has happened. He's distracted by the peacocks and pigeons on set," said Abbas.
We're really proud of Mustafa for his gesture. Dipesh's father said he was turned away because he was a non-Muslim asking for charity and we hope more people realise that charity and generosity have nothing to do with religion. Be like Fahad Mustafa and open your hearts to everyone who needs help.