Our organisation has been granting wishes to children for more than 25 years. The impact that it has on their lives and the lives of our volunteers is inexplicable.
Wishes come in four categories:
- To Go – These children desire to go to places or events. They have been difficult to grant with the pandemic.
- To Be – These children have the opportunity to experience a day in their desired career such as a chef or law enforcement officer.
- To Meet – Meeting their heroes encourages children to keep fighting.
- To Have – Special gifts provide joy and distractions from their medical conditions.
Below is a story of children who were able to meet their hero, Sachin Tendulkar
9th October 2014 – a memorable date in the lives of 5 young cricket enthusiasts as they had a date with their icon Sachin Tendulkar. The 5 young ones trooped into Sachin’s Bandra home armed with questions, loads of excitement and a huge grin stretching ear to ear. The five include:
- 6-year-old Atharva Pawar from Mumbai says watching and playing cricket is a routine activity like eating drinking and sleeping
- 12-year-old Dharshan Jadhav from Dhule whose conversation is centered around cricket and the God of cricket
- 13-year-old Dhruvil Patel from Ahmedabad, Gujarat had expressed his deeply cherished wish of wanting to spend quality time with legendary Sachin Tendulkar when he was undergoing treatment in Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
- 16-year-old Shubham Dhotre from Pune eyes light up at the mere mention of the word Cricket and Sachin.
- 17-year-old Ms. Sanjana Shivalkar from Mumbai, a hardcore fan and follower of cricket and Sachin Tendulkar.
The evening was spent in the exact opposite way that they had originally planned. The plan was to bombard Sachin with questions on Cricketing technique, but it was both sweet and refreshing to see that they were so awestruck and were completely tongue-tied, not a sound left their vocal cords. To these 5 children, this was a dream come true, some were choked with emotions as they gazed at their star. Sachin personally interacted with all the children and with utmost love and care. Since they were in a dream zone, he bombarded them with questions instead, to set the conversation rolling. When they did manage to find their voice they told Sachin that they deeply miss his presence on the pitch. They gave Sachin, handmade cards, customized and prepared by them. Wish child Atharva celebrated his birthday 2 days before the Sachin meeting, so he got chocolates and wanted to share it with Sachin. The highlight was the photograph, autograph session and the cricket kit personally signed by Sachin was gifted to the children. The wish children’s parents were very happy to see their children’s faces light up and beaming bright as opposed to their reality of painful medical treatment which they battle as a routine. As this was being done on the eve of Diwali, the Make-A-Wish India team made it special for all the kids by gifting them Make-A-Wish t-shirts, caps autographed by their idol Sachin and Diwali sweets. At this event, two representatives from the Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Mr. Colin Shah – convener GJEPC and MD Kama Schachter and Mr. Bobby Kothari – Director Jewelex India, were present. GJEPC had so graciously hosted the “Jewelers For Hope” charity dinner on 18th July’14 in Mumbai and had made a generous donation of Rs. 1crore to the cause of Make-A-Wish India. Colin and Bobby were present to observe how a “To meet” wish is granted and enhanced by the team of Make-A-Wish India and they were very impressed with the outcome. During the interaction Sachin had with Deepak S Bhatia – CEO of Make-A-Wish India, he mentioned “His home is always open to the wish kids and he is always available whenever Make-A-Wish needs him”.