SRINAGAR: Sana, a young Kashmiri studying hotel management, was diagnosed with leukaemia in April 2015. To raise money for her treatment, her family even sold their land.
“Sana was beautiful, as if God had made her with his own hands,” said her sister Sadiya. “Being the youngest of the three siblings, we loved her most. We tried everything to save Sana till her last breath. But we could not save her.”
The disease claimed Sana’s life in February, but her story inspired a Kashmiri crowd-sourced charity to help patients suffering from cancer and other diseases requiring expensive treatment.
At the hospital, Sana’s sister was given a suggestion by an Kashmiri attendant – she was asked to appeal on Facebook on behalf of Sana. The appeal, coupled with a photo of Sana and a certificate from the hospital went viral and her family were able to raise $40,000 in one month.
Later a group of businessmen in Srinagar launched a crowdfunding campaign called #TwentyRupeesMiracle. It asked for contributions of around $0.30, per month to the Lalla Ded Charity. The charity is named after a 14th-century Kashmiri female poet whose name evokes “motherhood, affection, empathy, love and care,” said one of the founders, Mubashir Aslam.