Indian Social Activists Save Afghan Girl’s Life
Huzma was born in a poor family in Khost province of Afghanistan with congenital heart disease. The optimal age to operate on this disease is age one or two, but her family had been unable to arrange it even as she reached age 11. Then Huzma’s father heard about social worker Farhad Zaheer in Jalalabad.
Farhad Zaheer is a teacher in Nangarhar Province, also functioning as a social worker in the city of Jalalabad for many years. He has sent nine children abroad for surgery on heart defects, and three additional children have had operations done with Farhad’s support within Afghanistan.
When Farhad received the echo test results of Huzma, he sent her case to different hospitals that he was in contact with to arrange surgery. For a long time, he did not receive an answer. Finally he started fundraising for her on internet. This proved a difficult task, but eventually Farhad raised $1000. But Huzma needed at least $5000 for surgery in India.
Farhad contacted Indian social worker Sipra Narula, and begged her to help save Huzma’s life. Sipra is a very kind and generous lady, who had previously coordinated surgery in India for numerous Afghan children.
Sipra contacted Vivek Jain who is also a social activist in India. They worked together and started a successful fundraising campaign. When the funds were collected, Huzma was invited to India’s Artemis hospital, one of the top hospitals in India. When Huzma’s check up was done, they said operating would be too complicated. Her heart surgery should have been done at age one or two, and as she grew up the hole in heart got bigger. When the social workers in India and Afghanistan heard this, they started praying for an entire week, and asked others through social media to pray for her.
Huzma did not only need money for the surgery, she also needed some one to be her caretaker in India. Her uncle Farid who is a student of engineering in Khost university took leave, and left for India. Huzma’s parents could not go because they are fully illiterate, and would not be able to manage the affairs in India. Huzma has a distant relative named Kabir, who lives in London, and works as a taxi driver. He sent Huzma and her uncle some money for daily expenses and booked the return ticket for her.
All these kind and generous people helped save Huzma’s life with the blessing of Allah. But special credit goes to Sipra and Vivek who worked for an Afghan girl’s life, regardless of religion, nationality, race, or international borders. A special thanks also goes to Indian doctors that they always provide the best treatment service to Afghan patients.
After Huzma’s surgery was successfully completed, she needed to be on ventilator in ICU for almost 9 days. The cost of ICU increased to more than the package of surgery that they signed a contract for. Sipra Narula paid also for the stay in ICU. And she did not only coordinate efforts for Huzma, she had previously coordinated surgery in India for five Afghan children.
Humza safely reached Kabul today from India after her successful heart surgery. She said she was very thankful to Indian Social Activists, Sipra Narula and Vivek Jain because they cared her like elder brother and sister. She said the way they gave me love was not even a bit less than what my parents have given to me. Thanks a lot to India and Indian people who showed what humanity can do.
On behalf of the Afghan People, thank you India! Thank you Artemis Hospital staff! You are all divinely blessed that such wonderful people grow in your land, people that will always assist those that all else have forgotten, the war torn and poor nation of Afghanistan.
By: Farhad Zaheer,
Teacher and Social Activist in Nangarhar