By: Romesa Qaiser Khan, 1st year
Oftentimes in medical life, under the daily siege of tests and substages and examinations and assignments, we tend to forget who we really are and who we’re going to grow up to be. Doctors. Being a doctor is not all about pills and injections and therapy, it’s also about making your patients happy. About feeling their pain as your own and doing everything you can to heal both body and spirit. When all other hope is lost, it’s us people look up to, if not to treat them then at least ease their passage from this life. We’re working in God’s own shadow and somehow we tend to forget this remarkable fact amongst petty concerns and the general tedium of life.
To make sure we don’t completely lose sight of the bigger picture, Kemcolians Akhuwat Club is always giving us little chances to redeem ourself and to give us a goal worth going on for. Under the exceptional patronage of Dr. Izhar Dr. Amjad and Dr. Kamran, and the guidance of our seniors, Hafza baji (president KAC), Yusra baji and Tauqeer bhai, we first years made a little attempt at bringing happiness into the lives of wonderfully alive and yet terribly ill children through the make-a-dream project. Under this project, we not only raised funds (of upto PKR 63000) for the children solely by volunteer effort but also got to live a few hours with these children which reminded us of the fragility and often cruelty of life, that none of us will ever forget.
More than 50 people volunteered for this project, thanks to our personal champs, Zahra Auqil and Hadia Tahir, who saw this whole project through brilliantly. Our motto throughout the campaign has been “by the children, for the children”. Here are the highlights of our drive:-
-A little box of happiness:
The kick-off to the campaign was brought about by Abrar Ali, our resident foreign student, who came up with an idea so ingeniously unique and yet brilliantly simple that it sparked the interest of the whole first year in the charity project. Briefly put, he, alongwith Khalil Ahmad, Talha Javed and Jamal Awan, bought an empty box and filled it up with chocolates without counting them first and everyone had to pay 50 rs. to guess the amount of chocolates within. The winner of course would get the whole jar for himself. Ranging from the quirkiest response of people who wanted to buy a specific chocolate to people who actually tried to run away with the box, an overwhelming number of people took to the guessing game throughout the week, with Ali Shahbaz Baloch finally taking the prize and heartwarmingly distributing it to the children in Mayo hospital’s wards. Both his joy and the children’s was profoundly touching to behold. The total amount raised by this project was PKR 8000. Who knew that something as routine as a chocolate can brighten up someone’s entire day?
|Topmost- Abrar Ali, Bottom left- The collection team, Right- Ali Shahbaz Baloch distributing his prize|
-The Food Fiesta:
Bake sales are such a common occurrence, no one really pays attention to them anymore. At least, that’s what we all thought. And yet, knowing this, we still decided to give it a go. Creativity, class unity and passion for a good cause ran rampant during the two days of this phase of the project.
· The Cupcake Project: Headed by yours truly, and with the phenonmenal assistance of Khadija Nadeem, Khalil Ahmad and Abrar Ali, we decided to sell a hundred cupcake and cold coffee combos at a mere 200 each, in custom hand painted plates (shoutout to Bilal and Saad here). Sales completely exceeded our expectations (partly due to the number of people who just love oreos and partly due to Abrar’s british accent) with us getting returns of upto PKR 27000, about three times the money we’d originally invested. Even then, the entire team donated their own refunds to charity. With more than 18 volunteers to our stall, classmates still dropped by to help, doing everything under the sun from cornering Dr. Waqas into buying half a dozen brownies to pretty much kidnapping all passersby with wallets in their hands. With an unprecedented success in the history of selling cupcakes and admist the overturned coffees and melting ice creams, everyone came together beautifully for a wonderful cause.
|Food Fiesta at a glance.|
· Potato lovers and other delectables: An amazing effort by our very own paragon of sheer awesomeness, Zahra Auqil, featured selling cutlets and fries on the first day and sandwiches and pasta on the second. Involving many people running away with each other’s food and several almost deaths-by-karahi, the speed at which Zahra cooked and sold all the foodstuff deserves nothing less than a culinary Oscar. Her cooking was so splendid, half of the food never reached other people but was paid for and annihilated by us. The total amount raised by this part was PKR 8000. Special mention of the canteen walay uncle here whose ketchup bottle we stole and used abundantly despite having a pack of our own due to its mysteriously better taste plus traitors from the coffee stall who deserted us for the incomparable cutlets.
Completely last minute, yet the coolest fundraising activity we’ve had, the treasure hunt was truly a sight to behold. Organized by Aneeqa Javed, Sehrish Sohail, Larabe Chaudhry and Maria Hussain, it had six teams from our class with more 80 students participating. On a trail of four cleverly crafted clues, with the final one referring to our all-time favourite attendance short-ener Gibran, the students were found in the most unexpected place like bushes, trees and half dangling into that drain outside pharma looking for clues. The stampede of students running helter skelter provided entertainment the likes of which kemu has rarely ever seen. Added to the confusion caused by random shoutouts from the clues (someone yelled “almari!” from the third clue and a bunch of fourth years actually assumed we were running because an almari had fallen on a firstula), we honestly had the time of our lives. The total amount raised here was roughly PKR 6000 and the prize, claimed by team D, was also distributed amongst the children in the wards.
|Treasure hunt- Organinzing team, a clue, the prize.|
The only idea based solely on creativity and featuring some of the best quotes we hear at kemu, these were designed by Hadia Tahir and sold by her, Zara Farooq and Mohsin Ali to all and sundry. The coolest kemu souvenirs one could hope to find, these beauties raised roughly PKR 6000 as well, and they’ll go a long way to brighten up those much used, oft lost BD’s and other books medical students very rarely read (namely mushtaq and guyton.)
Even with all the work we were already pulling off, our hostelites Aqsa Abid and Iqra Waseem took the initiative of circulating a donation box, loving made by and decorated by us firstulas, to each and every room of the hostel and we can only guess how exhausting that had to be. Kudos to these guys since the amount they raised is PKR 14000. A very small team with very big earnings indeed.
-A happy ending of sorts:
The whole week of hard work concluded with the activity we’d all been waiting for and which had been our primary motivation; meeting the children. We sang, played games, coloured and basically turned into children ourselves. Despite their illness, the kids were so full of life and so wonderfully refreshing, especially this one little guy called shahrukh we christened butt sahib on account of his vigorous singing and incessant ability to make the cheekiest jokes. Then there was pretty rubiba who was so endearingly shy, she buried her face in her jacket everytime we spoke to her and yet trailed behind us calling us all appi and holding our hands (and she gave me an éclairs as a special gift too). One very sad little child wouldn’t do anything else but even he brightened up when the treasure hunt chocolates were distributed and stuffed them eagerly into his pockets and guarded them zealously the whole time. Shan, Amir, Arslaan, all of them were such beautiful children that it felt so terribly unfair that they should have to suffer anything in life, let alone pain that even grownups can’t bear. Sadness ran in the undertones of our whole time in the wards, yet we were able to at least rejoice in the fact that all of us combined had made these children happy, even if only for an hour or so. And the expressions on both the children’s faces and the parents when we handed out the gift bags and toys were above and beyond the scope of what a camera can capture. It made us kind of happy, it made us kind of sad, but above all it made us grateful to have met all these wonderful children that we’ll never get to see again and have a moment with them that we’ll cherish for as long as we live.
First and foremost, we ask you all to pray for these children’s health and happiness and their speedy recovery. At least once try and meet them and you’ll never forget the paradigm shift that will follow. Secondly, the biggest shoutout to CLASS OF 2018 for being united, for being supportive, for giving everything they had and making us a success story. Thirdly, a litany of names that I did not want to bore people with but which must absolutely be mentioned, Zanira, Warda, Zara, Fatima, Ghumza, Marium, Faiqa, Maham, Anoshia, Amna, Mehak, Sheharyar, Usama, Usman, Haris, Mujtaba, Shahzad. You guys, thankyou. You rock. ^^
|Cheers, batch of '18!|
Photography credits: Muhammad Usama.