Alaiha Vanjara, 13, a student of Mahim’s Bombay Scottish has raised nearly Rs 1.5 lakh to save a two-year-old suffering from lung cancer, reported Mid-day.
In September, Alaiha’s mother told her about Veer Pawar, a toddler who lives near nearby, who had the terminal disease and that the treatment would cost his family Rs 4 lakh. This was an unaffordable sum of money for the parents.
Even more heartening is that the young girl decided to forego decorating her room with her favourite actor, Varun Dhawan’s merchandise, so she could use the money she saved to help Veer! Up until then, Alaiha saved Rs 10,000.
Hushna Vanjara, Alaiha’s mother, says, “When I saw the Facebook post, I showed it to her, and she became concerned. We immediately contacted the hospital which confirmed its authenticity. Then, we circulated a message seeking funds and soon help started coming in.”
A taxi driver, Veer’s father Balraj said he lost his first child 15 days after delivery. “So, when Veer fell ill I wanted to do all I could to ensure that I don’t lose him.” So while he borrowed some amount of the money, it was nowhere near enough to meet the cost of the entire treatment.
Luckily, Mahalaxmi’s NH SRCC Children’s Hospital admits patients even if they don’t have the money to clear the bills immediately.
The hospital decided to go a step further and helped raise funds for Veer’s treatment. They did so by connecting with NGOs and Milaap, a crowdfunding site, which is also how Alaiha got to know of crowdfunding.
Hushna says Alaiha called up family friends and even connected with her school’s vice-principal for help. Most people followed through with the payments, and even though some didn’t, Alaiha did not give up.
The young Varun Dhawan fan was eager to paint her room and decorate it with his posters.
“When I learnt about the child, I thought of spending my money on something more meaningful,” she told Mid-day.
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With donations from 40 people, Alaiha collected Rs 1.23 lakh in just a week!
The thoughtful kid and her mother even visited Veer in the hospital and played with him, cheering him up.
The boy’s family wasn’t told of her role in helping them. At the hospital, the teenager was felicitated for her thoughtful gesture!
Mid-day also reported that Veer has been in the hospital for a month now. He has been through a series of chemotherapy sessions and the hospital says he has responded well. In fact, he won’t even require surgery either.