Battery-operated cars and bikes, a doll house, phones and tablets for online studies were some of the wishes of children battling critical illnesses. As their wishes were fulfilled by Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon, along with Records Manya and Make-A-Wish Foundation, the children could not stop smiling.
The 12 children who were invited to the Ambassador's residence, hail from different parts of the country and are being treated in Delhi for their severe illnesses. Once they received their gifts, they were indulged in activities and interactive experiences to lift their spirits.
The initiative was funded by a portion of the proceeds generated from the successful art exhibition held last month in which artists sold their art painted on old vinyl records to raise funds. It was a joint initiative of the Speaking Art Foundation and Records Manya, the brainchild of Maya Katz, an Israeli artist working with the Embassy of Israel in India. Around 125 hand-painted artworks on scratched records, created by more than 100 artists from all over India were showcased and sold.
Maya, who shared she recently lost someone close to cancer, said it became her drive to do something for the children. “I had received these vinyl records from one of my family members during the lockdown and I was wondering what to do with them. That is when I started painting them. It gave me the idea of bringing together artists to do the same for a good cause,” she said. While the amount raised has not been disclosed, Maya says it is good enough to fulfill the wishes of the children.
Ambassador Gilon, who played host along with his wife, said: "I am honoured to host such a noble event and make a small difference in the lives of the children undergoing challenging medical treatment. Witnessing the joy and hope emanating from these incredible kids is a profound reminder of the power of unity, compassion, and the ability to create an impact. It is even more special as the proceeds were generated by the sustainable art exhibition that reused scratched vinyl to create new artefacts.”
He further said: “It was inspiring to see Israelis and Indians coming together to make a positive contribution and bring happiness and hope to these children. Together, we can inspire and uplift, creating a world where wishes do come true.”
Ambassador Gilon who has actively advocated for water conservation techniques and initiatives often finds himself getting back at trolls on Twitter. When asked about some of the recent incidents, he said he is a Twitter person and loves to engage and communicate with people on Twitter. “I am very active on Twitter and feel it is a god way to share thoughts. At times, I feel the need to speak my part as well and that is why I do and clarify things,” he said.