Pale and thin from fighting an aggressive form of cancer, Masarat Jan lay on an old, well-worn mattress in a room of her modest home in Takia Drubgam of Pulwama. At 25, she looks at an uncertain future, for herself as well as her four-year-old son. Her husband, a casual labourer, has spent all the money he had on her treatment and still the family isn't sure what tomorrow will bring for them.
In this uncertainty, walks in a Kashmiri Pandit family to help the Dars. When her husband Mushtaq Ahmad Parray had no more money left for her treatment, he was encouraged by friends and neighbours to take to social media and make an appeal for donations. Renu Bakshi, a Kashmiri entrepreneur and philanthropist living in Kuwait came to know of this desperate appeal for help and she came all the way down from there to Kashmir to offer aid.
As she lay on the mattress a smile flickers across the bony face of Masarat Jan when the Pandit family visited her. "Perhaps Allah has sent you to save my son from becoming an orphan," cried Masarat.
"I could not hold back my tears as soon as I saw Parray appealing for donations on social media. The appeal really struck a chord and I immediately decided to visit the family of Parray" said Bakshi. "After all, we Kashmiris have a tradition of being together in tough times" she added.
On June 21, Bakshi along with her sister, cousin and a local journalist visited the Parray and offered to bear all the expenses of the treatment. She has also decided to pay for all the educational expenses of her son.
"I will try to get her the best possible treatment and will also bear all the educational expenses of her son" Bakshi said.
Bakshi also said that a group of prominent oncologists from Delhi were visiting Kashmir next week and she was planning to take an opinion from them before shifting her ( Masarat) to Delhi for the treatment.
"I am a daily-rated worker. I do menial jobs at the construction sites. Whatever savings I had made I spent all on her treatment" said her husband Mushtaq Ahmad Parray.
As Parray rain short of money after spending lakhs on the treatment of his wife, He, on the advice of of his pals, took the route of social media to make an appeal for the donations. " I was caught off guard when they visited my house. It was not less than a miracle. They have come with new hopes" said Parray.