I fulfilled my dream, flying with children with little time

As a kid, I wondered what the earth would look like from the sky, just like any other kid. A fairy tale brought wishes for wings to me, and I dreamt if I could fly. I always wished to fly in the sky with little children around me. On Tuesday, that dream came true (though partially) as I flew with kids around from Mumbai to Pune. Small children giggled near me, laughing and talking about life and the sky. Yet, they brought different kinds of thoughts to my mind. Philosophical thought about life and its temporariness afflicts me now. These kids, just living like us, also live with a terminal illness. They live with cancer and deal with the uncertainness of life every second.

A letter from the Cancer Patients Aid Association, a philanthropic organization in Mumbai, asked me to arrange a favor for these loving kids a few months back. It did not strike me at that time that it would change my perception of life. Neeta More, the organization’s director, said that some children’s lives seemed to be shortened because of a deadly disease. Their last wish was to fly, see the earth below and feel the sky. That made me teary-eyed reading these lines in his letter, written to me many days ago.
How unjust can life be? I thought about the kids. I crib every day about little things in my life, but here are such beautiful kids who thank God for whatever little they have. So, in my role as a political leader and National President of the All India Mahila Empowerment Party (AIMEP), I decided what would be more worthy of a leader’s work than fulfilling the small dreams of kids.
So the next thing was to hire a fifty-seater private airplane from Mumbai to fly the kids around celebrating the Azaadi ki 75th Amrit Mahotsav of our nation’s Independence.
Twenty-seven kids fighting a deadly disease, such as cancer, flew with me, making me happy and fulfilled of a dream of my life. The children came with their organizational heads to the Mumbai airstrip, and we met and held hands and flew together.

As the political party’s national president, I feel that the greatest leadership is in living together with fellow citizens. Politics is not just about chairs but finding ways to provide life and dignity to people. At the All India Women’s Empowerment Party, we always aspire to address this aspect.

The joy ride: Nanhe Masumo ki Udaan not only brought happiness to the kids but gave me the joy of a lifetime I’ll cherish. AIMEP thanks the Cancer Patients Aid Association for making me a part of their journey and providing us with a lifetime of the learning experience.

Today I can say with pride my long-due dream has come true.

(Dr. Nowhera Shaik is the National President of All India Mahila Empowerment Party (AIMEP). She can be contacted at drnowheraoffice@gmail.com)

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