By Salma Choudhury; translated by Maheen Hamid
Ashiq was the result of a late pregnancy, when my older two children were teenagers and my husband was extremely busy building his business. A lifetime homemaker, I could not be happier about our new bundle of joy. The rest of the family was ecstatic along with me when Afzal and I welcomed our son into this world on 17th February 1990.
Given the risk of complications with my pregnancy, I stayed with my brother in London during the last trimester, under the care of ashicsome of the best doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital – an institution known for its history and traditions. Post-delivery, we were even kept in the same room where Princess Diana had Prince William. This often prompted my husband to say, “Princess Diana’s son made his place at Buckingham Palace from here; what would fate have in store for my son in Bangladesh?”
We named our son Ashiq, which means lover. The name was perfect for him because when we came back to Bangladesh after a few weeks, Ashiq captured everybody’s heart. Happiness was contagious and it seemed that after many personal losses for us over the years, this happiness was here to stay. In 1977, I had lost my daughter, Munia, due to a freak accident. I was very young when it happened but it had left deep scars. Of all my children, Ashiq resembled Munia the most and some uncanny feelings of dread would often come over me when I thought of Ashiq’s health. Not to let paranoia overwhelm me, I regularly took Ashiq to the doctor for routine check-ups. He was growing up a normal and happy child.
Upon our return to Bangladesh, my husband and I, for the first time in our lives, started exploring the medical arena for childhood cancer and saw that there was much to be done in this little attended sector. Thus, the birth of ASHIC Foundation, our non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for cancer affected children in Bangladesh. It is an opportunity for me to keep Ashiq alive, while I make a difference in lives of thousands of other Ashiqs. Even though most work does not appeal to me anymore, I love my work for ASHIC. It never tires me to fill the world of affected children like Ashiq, with love and happiness. I am thankful to Allah and to all of you who have helped in keeping the memory of my son alive through the ASHIC programs. I pray that I can continue on this path for the rest of my life and hope that you will continue your support for us.
Business: Non Profit Organization (NGO)
Open Hours : 10:00 AM - 08:00 PM
Close Day : Friday
House-52, Road-3/A, Dhanmondi R/A, Bangladesh