When religious polarisation, discrimination based on identity, and stereotyping are brewing densely in the country's air, we fail to understand the true essence of humanity. The story of Sushma Uniyal and Sultana Ali reminds us about the most important aspect of humanity —holding values of mutual love and respect towards each other.
Two Strangers On A Common Hunt
Nine months ago, the two women were on a common hunt to find a donor. The husbands of both women— Vikas Uniyal (50) and Ashraf Ali (51) were on dialysis and required urgent kidney donation. The two wives, homemakers from Deharadun, witnessed several attempts to find a perfect match, none had turned out to fit. Due to incompatibility issues, they could not donate kidneys to their husbands.
It was in January, where Dr. Shahbaz Ahmed, nephrologist, informed them about this good news, where he said, "I was going through their files and realised that Sultana's blood group matched Vikas's and Sushma's matched Ashraf's. I immediately contacted the families," as reported by The Times of India.
He proposed his idea in front of both the families and addressed the concern if they are willing to set aside their interfaith differences for kidney transplantation. To avoid any complexity later, the doctor decided to ask about the interfaith quotient involved with the transplant surgery beforehand.
He introduced the families to each other in January, where they agreed to the plan. After conducting several tests, he realised that their organs could be swapped. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their surgery was delayed, which finally took place on September 4. After the transplant, the two families stayed in touch and exchanged their experiences.
Ray Of Hope
Sushma mentioned in an interview that she is happy that the surgery gave Vikas a new lease of life after three harrowing years where he had fought fear, pain, and financial losses to extend his life with regular hemodialysis.
In this process, an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, filters the blood from the body. Meanwhile, Ashraf was also dealing with similar trauma. After the surgery, he is a lot more "confident now to start a new life." He and his family had gone through the same unbearable pain for the last few years. He feels thankful for this opportunity.
Sushma believed that the whole Hindu-Muslim divide was a matter of mindset. Their story has been a message to spread love and acceptance.