Pakistan game show gives out babies as prizes to childless couples
POSTED: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 11:37am
UPDATED: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 1:45pm
NBC — Critics are outraged over a TV show in Pakistan where abandoned babies are given to couples without children.
But, as NBC's Ian Williams explains, the show has also helped lives.
He's the biggest star on Pakistani television, part tele-evangelist, part game-show host.
Everyone's a winner on Aamir Liaqat Hussain's Ramadan specials.
But, when Hussain gave abandoned babies to childless couples on prime-time television, outraged critics said he'd gone too far in the race for the Ramadan ratings.
Question: "You've got washing machines, dvd players, mobile phones, and now?," kids.
So far, three babies have been handed over on the show.
Social welfare groups say there's another side to the story, which is about preventing babies from being simply dumped on garbage heaps. Most unwanted babies are girls, and only a few survive the dump, including the three which Ramzan Chhipa's Emergency Response Organization found and provided for the TV show to raise awareness.
"We are constantly doing this campaign to aware the people do not kill a baby," said Chhipa. "Do not kill because you do not kill. this is a measure of killing a human. Do not kill."
Chhipa also finds the parents for the show from among thousands looking to adopt, and says they are carefully vetted.
Parents like Raz-Ud-Din and Tanzem Riaz, who say their adopted baby is a gift from God.
They said they wanted to receive tiny Fatima on live television to help break the taboo that often surrounds adoption in Pakistan.
For Chhipa, the motives of the TV show are really irrelevant, just as long as the publicity helps to save other babies from the trash.