On a wish and a dream

Make-A-Wish foundation has joined hands with team Baahubali to bring cheer to kids

Deepak Bhatia, CEO of Make-A-Wish foundation, will never forget Rahul, a child going through a kidney transplant. “His operation was scheduled soon — his mother was giving him a kidney — and he wanted to meet Sachin Tendulkar,” he recalls. When he entered the room, however, Rahul turned around and told him, that he really hated cricket. “We thought it was the end of that meeting.”

Tendulkar, however, turned out to be a good sport — he said it was perfectly all right. Rahul confessed that although he didn’t like cricket, he wanted to meet the cricketer “to develop leadership qualities”. Tendulkar took Rahul to the pitch outside his house, and told him to get better soon so that they could play cricket together.

And he did. “He called me a year-and-a-half later to tell him he felt well enough to play,” says Bhatia, who says that Rahul is now doing very well. That is the power of a wish. It can give children suffering from a life-threatening illness the impetus to fight harder against it.

The Make-A-Wish foundation has recently partnered with the team behind Baahubali to make more wishes come true. It started off with 10-12 kids visiting the sets in December last year. The children were excited to meet the cast and crew. They were shown around the sets, got to see props, and spent quality time with Prabhas, followed by a photo session.

But meeting a celebrity is not the only wish a child with a life-threatening disease has. He/she may also want a physical thing or interesting experience, explains Bhatia. “The cost of an average wish is around ₹8,000,” he says.

Riding on the Baahubali wave, a crowd-funding campaign was launched on Fueladream, a Bengaluru-based crowd funding platform. The campaign, which seeks to raise ₹5 lakh, will go towards this cause.

“We are halfway through the campaign, and have already raised 80% of the funds we want,” says Ranganath Thota, founder, Fueladream. In addition to the campaign, the team at Baahubali rolled out a special promotion, offering fans 10 tickets (lucky draw) to the first-day show if they contributed the campaign, he adds.

“We are glad we are in a position to make a difference to the lives of these kids,” says Shobu Yarlagadda, the producer of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Considering that, at any given point, there are at least 800 kids who have wishes big and small, the ₹5 lakh is only the tip of the iceberg. But it will help at least 70 to 80 children. And hopefully, be so successful that the campaign can be launched again later, says Bhatia.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:11:29 AM |

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