A good deed and 'winning hearts'

Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 22:24 [IST]
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Lahore:A 10-year-old Pakistani girl suffering from cancer has been offered free treatment in India following an appeal by the touring Indian cricketers.

Three leading Indian hospitals in Vellore, Bangalore and Mumbai responded to an appeal by the players to treat Huba Shahid, the daughter of a Lahore-based journalist Shahid Chhina.

The girl suffers from rabdomy sacrcoma (facial cancer), the treatment for which is available at these three Indian hospitals.

The journalist met the players ahead of the ongoing second Test at Lahore and the appeal by the cricketers for help had been published in Indian newspapers two days ago.

"We have already been approached by the Christian Medical College in Vellore, Manipal hospital in Bangalore and the Tata memorial hospital in Mumbai to provide free teatment," team manager Ratnakar Shetty said.

"The request has been forwarded to the girl's father and we have been assured by the Indian High Commission in Pakistan that it will make the necessary travel arrangements."

The girl's father said he could not thank the Indian cricketers enough for their gesture.

"I was quite desperate for help because she was dying," Chhina said. "I was told the necessary treatment was available in India, so I approached the team for help.

"They immediately agreed to make an appeal. I will always be grateful to them. God bless them."

The Indian team, on its first full tour of Pakistan since 1989, had been advised by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee before departure last month to "win both matches and the hearts of the people."

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