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Surgeons in India to Mend ‘Pakistani Hearts’ by treating 70 Childrn

Mumbai, Sep 18 India and Pakistan maybe daggers drawn on many issues, however one issue that is likely// to win many friends include the treatment in India of 70 poor Pakistani children later this month for heart treatment.

This one gesture is likely to pave path towards many more similar gestures and result in a harmony between the two countries that politician on both sides of the border have failed to deliver in the last 50 years.

These young poor Pakistani heart patients will be operated upon by two surgeons and a cardiologist at Nanavati Hospital. The children - aged between five and 10 years - have been divided into four batches of 15-20 each. The first batch is expected to arrive by this month-end or by Oct 15.

The project was initiated by Pune-based philanthropic body Sadhu Vaswani Mission (SVM) in association with the Karachi-based Sindh Graduates Association. The mission has allocated Rs.150,000 per child, which would include hospital charges, travel fare and three weeks' stay for the child and the parents. The hospital too has considerably reduced its charges from over Rs.200,000 to around Rs.110,000 for such operations.

'The hospital will take care of a bit of their expenditure. They are all suffering from various forms of heart ailments,' said Nand Kumar, one of the cardiac surgeons with Nanavati Hospital who will be operating on the children.

Kumar, along with fellow cardiac surgeon Ashok Hishikar and cardiologist Jaipal Jadwani, visited Karachi Aug 26 and decided on the list of children who would visit India.

'We have our roots in Pakistan. We hope the relations between our two countries grow stronger by the day,' said Ram Mirchandani, a spokesperson and trustee with SVM.

'We hope to carry similar missions very often in the future. But it would depend on how successful this one turns out to be,' Mirchandani said.

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