Arav Hak, a young boy living in Mumbai, is asking other young boys and girls across India for a simple gesture — become Santa Claus for someone in need this December. Having worked closely with children battling cancer, Arav knows what he is talking about. He has raised over Rs. 7 lakh for this cause and wants others of his age to help too.
Recently featured by the popular Facebook page Humans of Bombay, Arav says his worldview changed when his mother took him to a hospital for cancer patients during Diwali. Determined to help those in need, he started frequenting Dr. Ernest Borges Memorial Home and ended up spending a lot of time with a young cancer patient called Aditya.
Upon realising that Aditya was a huge cricket fan, Arav and his mom made arrangements for him to watch an IPL game live with VIP tickets — making his dream come true.
Since then, his dedication to this cause has only grown. He says, “I’ve been committed to raising money for underprivileged children suffering from cancer through the Nargis Dutt foundation. In the past 3 and a half months I have raised 7.8 Lac (sic) Rupees and this is just a drop in the ocean for the amount that’s actually needed to help these children.”
He reasons that now would be a good time for people to be a “Santa Claus” in someone’s life:
“I moved to Bombay from the US last year. During Diwali, my mother took me to visit a cancer hospital for children to…
“I moved to Bombay from the US last year. During Diwali, my mother took me to visit a cancer hospital for children to celebrate with them and that experience changed my perspective on life. The one thing I felt was guilt — I complained about so many insignificant things, but there were people in the world who didn’t have anything, who maybe wouldn’t live to see another day but they were so content and happy.
I began to regularly visit Dr. Ernest Borges Memorial Home and a little boy named Aditya gave me a new life purpose. Aditya was the biggest cricket fan — My mother and I spoke to his mother and got to know more about the struggle of this boy who was my age but going through so much. After chemotherapy, when Aditya felt emotional and drained, cricket was the only thing that sparked some energy in him. No matter how tired he was, if there was a match going on he would run to town and stand outside a barber’s shop all day, watching the screen from outside. His only dream was to experience a cricket match live. This was around the same time The IPL was coming to an end, when we realised we could actually make Aditya’s dream come true. We arranged for 2 VIP tickets and surprised him on the day of the match — the thrill on his face is something I can never forget. He was on his feet throughout the match…clapping, cheering and going completely crazy. Not only was the match a memorable experience for him, but he said that he had never before seen or eaten that much food in his life and that statement was a real eye opener for me.
Since then, I’ve been committed to raising money for underprivileged children suffering from cancer through the Nargis Dutt foundation. In the past 3 and a half months I have raised 7.8 Lac Rupees and this is just a drop in the ocean for the amount that’s actually needed to help these children.
My only message today would to be to children my age who are affording. We don’t blink an eyelid before buying 4 Play Station Games a month or buying expensive gadgets. I’m not saying that’s bad, but the next time maybe buy one game less and contribute that small amount to charity — it could literally save a life!
We’re lucky — we can go to school and take all the financials for granted, but what about these kids whose parents have no money because of expensive treatments? These kids have a right to go to school, learn, play and have a normal childhood…just like us. For a minute today, let’s think about them, donate and maybe this December we can all come together to be the Santa Clause in their lives?”