Manufacturer of Dreams
By Dikshya Samal (Mumbai, India)
“The fulfillment of a small wish, gives people that little push to keep going in hard times,” said Parth R Thakur, founder of The Wishing Factory (TWF). On January 1, 2016, Parth and his roommate started The Wishing Factory, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make the wishes of people suffering from thalassemia, a blood disorder resulting in an abnormally low level of oxygen-carrying protein, and blood cancer come true. Parth, a patient of Thalassemia Major himself, gets hospitalized every 15 days, for blood transfusions.
When he was nineteen and in his second year of college, his German Shepherd abruptly died of a cardiac arrest. Being the child of two working parents, Parth’s four-year-old dog was his main company, and witnessing the death of his young dog left him depressed. It made him think more profoundly about aspects of life and death, his purpose, and what he was really born to do. Immediately after, he constructed a plan with his then roommate to start The Wishing Factory.
Parth’s personal circumstances do not waver his will and passion to help people. He is constantly on his feet, traveling from one city to another, to help TWF increase the number of people whose wishes it fulfills.
People suffering from thalassemia and blood cancer have a very short life span; this is cut even shorter due to a lack of access to quality treatments. In addition to providing free healthcare services, medicine, education and awareness about these diseases, The Wishing Factory also fulfills the wishes of children who cannot do it themselves.
No matter how big or small the wishes are, the team of TWF makes sure to gather enough funds to turn these wishes into reality. One-hundred-ninety-four wishes have been fulfilled over the course of one year and four months, and 106 additional people have been helped in some way. Recently, a child was taken for a helicopter ride over Marine Lines, Mumbai. Another child was taken to explore the city of Ajmer. This encourages the children to maintain their ability to dream, and to believe that anything is possible. Hope is the strongest attribute a person suffering from a chronic disease can possess, and Parth along with his teammates at TWF enhance this hope.
Parth is unfazed by the hurdles that come in the way of collecting funds. Initially, he was cynical about people volunteering to provide monetary support for this cause, but once he started, he discovered a large number of people who stepped above and beyond their boundaries to help tremendously in carrying out this venture. Continuity and momentum of receiving funds are the hardest challenges faced by TWF, but Parth chooses to be optimistic about it. An aura of positivity always engulfs him, which spreads to the people he interacts with.
The organization started with exactly 900 rupees, which were scrupulously saved up by Parth and his roommate at the initial stage of this endeavor. And now TWF is undertaking its biggest project to date, with a budget of around 22 lakh rupees, which will be used to create free blood transfusion centers with 12 bed facilities, in Baroda and Viratnagar. The main objective is to extend the life expectancy of the patients, and make sure that the remaining few years of their lives are filled with silver linings and smiles.
While traveling in the train once, a stranger dressed in the clothes of a porter, came up to Parth and helped him with the 3 bags that he was carrying without taking any money in return. And, in addition, the stranger bought him a bottle of water. “Do you recognize me?” The stranger asked him. After seeing that Parth was confused, the stranger told him, “You fulfilled the wish of my kid a while ago. I’ll never forget that.”
The story of Parth and The Wishing Factory strongly validates the fact that kindness is universal and infectious.