Akbar Sheikh, who lives in Govandi in Maharashtra, suffered a heart attack last month. Doctors told him that he had four blockages in his heart and that he required surgery urgently in order to survive. Sheikh's son told the Hindustan Times that the cost of the surgery was ₹2.10 lakh, but the family could only managed to put together a sum of ₹50,000.
Fortunately for Sheikh and his family, Dr Zainul Hamdulay, director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at Global Hospitals in Parel, came to his aid. Sheikh is being operated upon today. His is not a one off case. The HT report says that Dr. Hamdulay is attempting to raise ₹3.37 crore to help people who are in need of heart surgery but cannot afford it. Dr Hamdulay hopes to fund 500 angiographies, 100 bypass surgeries, and 100 angioplasties with the amount he collects.
Dr. Hamdulay is also the founder of a non-profit organisation based in Nagpada called the Hamdulay Heart Foundation. The NGO treats underprivileged people afflicted by cardiac ailments. People in need approach the foundation seeking help for cardiac treatments, and in turn are referred to the Habib Hospital in Dongri, where the foundation has set up a cath lab. People in need of a bypass are sent to Global Hospitals.
The fundraiser is being held in the month of Ramzan as this is when Muslims donate their Zakat. Once a year, a Muslim is enjoined to give Zakat as alms or donation which customarily adds up to 2.5 percent of her or his annual income. So far, the Hamdulay Heart Foundation has collected a sum of ₹5.10 lakh over a span of 17 days. The foundation had raised funds last year as well and helped 263 patients in need of treatment.
Dr. Hamdulay said that the foundation was started in the memory of his mother who wanted him to help the poor in any way he could. "This is my way of giving back," he said.