Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

November 2005
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Globe Talk

Guldasta - The Pak-India Connection
By Nigar Ataulla

A little girl with her little heart has bonded two countries-India and Pakistan. We hear of children from Pakistan arriving in India to get heart surgeries done.

But probably this is the first time, that humanitarian values were combined with a spontaneous display of affection and care.

It was sheer faith in the Almighty that brought Rafiuddin, a farmer from North-West Province in Pakistan to Heart Care Centre on Cockburn Road in Bangalore, belonging to Dr. Mohammed Yunus Saleem, a consultant cardiologist at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Heart Centre in Bangalore on October 7. Hanging on to Rafiuddin’s shoulder was his four year old daughter, Guldasta, looking blue and gasping for breath every time she tried to walk. Quick tests by Dr Yunus revealed that the child suffered from Tetralogy of Fallot- a ventricular septal defect, obstruction in blood flow compounded by over-riding of the aorta and right ventricular hypertrophy. Guldasta required immediate complex surgery that would cost Rs 1.5 lakh. For Rafiuddin, a simple farmer with his wife and five children, this enormous sum was beyond his means.

It took just a few seconds for Dr. Yunus to have a word with Dr. S.S. Ramesh, Managing Director of Vivus, Bhagwan Mahaveer, Jain Heart Centre, and cardiac surgeon, Dr. Diwakar, who immediately agreed to do the surgery on Guldasta free of cost. So the little girl was wheeled into the operation theatre on October 12 and the defect was rectified.

Dressed in the blue hospital gown, Guldasta looking pink and glowing was a pretty picture straight out of a fairy tale. With doctors, nurses and visitors at the Jain Heart Centre doting over her, it was hard for anyone to hold back the surge of emotions. Guldasta will take back to Pakistan memories and the message of the Indian values of unconditional care, affection and concern. While for Dr. Yunus, helping the poor and the deserving is a way of life, he says that people ought to help each other in every small way they can. “Taking quick and timely decision is very critical”, he adds.

It may take years for dialogues in air-conditioned chambers to break the ice between the two countries, but it took a quick decision in split seconds for a team of doctors with humanitarian values to bond the people of India and Pakistan through a little girl called Guldasta!

To know what Guldasta is upto these days, just get in touch with Vivus, at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Heart Centre, Millers Road, Bangalore-52, India. Ph: 22267000, 22267333,Email:[email protected] or Ph: Dr. Mohammed Yunus Saleem-9845168845, 25365937