Mela for cancer-affected children
I haven’t seen anybody more ungrateful, than the ones who are totally blessed with almost everything they can dream of. And haven’t seen a man more blind, than those who find opportunities at every step they take, and complain of not having any, just because they are never ready to explore them. And I came to find this fact at the Children Mela at SKH. It was not just an event for me, but something that transformed me. On Saturday, 27th of November, 2016, an event was organized by Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Research centre, named as Children Mela and I along with my friends volunteered in it.
We reported there at 8am. Everyone made many efforts in organizing it. We decorated the arena, put up various game stalls with colourful spider balloons on them. We also had different co-operator volunteers and sponsors like Minnie minors to provide them with clothes, Alfalah bank, CureMD, Akhuwat dreams, Pepsi, and Service Shoes that donated free shoes. Different volunteers were allotted duties on different stalls. We were assigned to play games with the attendees and to make them happy as much as we could. And yes, we also had an actress Maya Ali and a tennis player Aisam ul Haq with us to encourage those beautiful fighters, or survivors. They brought a lot of gifts and presented words of appreciation to all the survivors.
Moving on to the purpose of the event, this mela was organized to encourage children fighting with cancer and to appreciate the struggle of those who survived. At round-about 10:30am we started receiving guests. I was much surprised to see those beautiful little kids with bright eyes and wide smiles on their faces. Nobody could tell that they were having a war inside. Their bravery and gratitude was remarkable. That was the moment when my definition of being grateful totally changed. They taught me the real meaning of thankfulness. During that whole period from 10am to 4pm, I realized how big this blessing to be healthy was. A grateful and wise person cannot desire for anything after that. They were only 2, 3 years old kids, knowing nothing of the world. They were just enjoying whatever they were given. They were unaware of the act of complaining. Children were at different stages of cancer, they were suffering the same disease in different ways. Some were on the wheel chairs and few had pipes attached to their small extremely beautiful faces. Looking at them was like telling myself the fact that the things we stress or complain about are nothing but those are acts of being unappreciative for everything we have. The strangest thing which I experienced was that almost all of the patients or families were pathans from the areas of KPK or Afghanistan, proving that the rate of cancer is high in those regions. That raised a curiosity in me to find out the most basic reason behind it. This seems to be a genetic problem to me as children of 2, 3 years old are having this fatal disease. The KPK family structure of cousin marriages can be a root reason of this transmission to generations after generations, making them suffer this pain. And I came to know that there is a feudal war against the polio campaign, as the local clerics also had fatwas against polio vaccination, as they think it is causing the children to have multiple cancer diseases and Parkinson or epilepsy etc. PATHETIC.
That one day explained the principle of pleasing yourself by helping others, to me. I’ve been told the entire 19 years of my life, that to get peace we should help others, we should make someone happy. Those little souls brought transformational colours to my darkened soul and mind. I tried my best to make their day and in return they made my life, making me realize how blessed I am. There should be more events like that as they keep watering those little flowers that we have in the shape of innocent children. This is much obvious that they want to get out of the same routine and play crazy games and we should try our best to not let their disease overcome or control them.
I would like to conclude by saying that Shaukat khanum’s work is incredible and deserves a lot of appreciation. Plus, being an active citizen I find myself beholden to this social work. And I believe that young people should volunteer in such events as much as they can, to feel and experience life in its deepest meanings.