The national anthem echoed in the vicinity and the air filled with enthusiasm.
Like every year, Patients Helping Hands (PHH) and Kumak had teamed up to spread a bit of joy in the lives of Jinnah Hospital's youngest patients. The festive atmosphere, even if momentary, was seen as a welcome distraction by the parents of the children admitted in the paediatric ward.
PHH, a nonprofit organisation solely run by the students of Jinnah Sindh Medical University, and Kumak, an organisation initiated by Karachi University graduates, come together every year to distribute Independence Day memorabilia and arrange activities for children admitted at the National Institute of Child Health in Jinnah Hospital.
The current president of the PHH, Islam Ahmed said, “We’re not an extremely famous organisation and our efforts have just begin to materialise. We want to show through our work that all the funds we have received have been duly utilised.”
Haya Fatima Iqbal from Kumak expressed the need for more volunteers: “We always welcome fresh ideas that encourage welfare activities. Last year on Eid, we took a group of 150 children from Tauseef Memorial School for Eid shopping. We just want more students on board, as most of the old ones are now employed and busy with their jobs.”
The children at the ward were all smiles as they received their gifts, which included Urdu story books and handmade cards.
All photos by author