Mumbai, Oct 10 : Ten seriously ill, but fortunate, children who recovered from serious illnesses received 'Gift of Life' certificates from cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, with the youngest being Shivam, a five-month-old child from Nepal, who was detected with an extremely complex heart ailment.
While Pooja gave birth to Shivam in Lucknow, her husband in Nepal was devastated when he got to know that his child whom he had not even seen was diagnosed with TAPVC (total anomalous pulmonary venous connection), a fatal disease, and needed anything between Rs.7 lakh and Rs.8 lakh for operation.
Covid-19-enforced lockdown made things difficult for the family, but Shivam received free of cost treatment Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Haryana, said a statement from the hospital.
Tendulkar interacted with the children and presented the certificates virtually.
The occasion was the commemoration of 1,000 successful heart surgeries of underprivileged children performed at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Child Heart Care amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
These centres, located in the states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Maharashtra in India, provide free of cost surgeries and interventions to children born with congenital heart defects, according to the statement.
During the interaction, the tiny tots asked Tendulkar some questions, like how to be healthy like him after having undergone such complex surgeries.
The batting master graciously responded with his words of wisdom, guiding and inspiring these little children, who will one day become strong, able, contributing citizens of India.
"It is truly commendable that while the entire world is experiencing unprecedented times, here is one solid team who have not stopped working and continue to do their noble work.
This is a clear reflection of their selflessness and their courage. I must congratulate everyone involved. By doing this noble work, you are not just giving our children the opportunity to lead a healthy life, you are also giving them an opportunity to dream big and chase their dream," said Tendulkar.