You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

It’s a girl! Pakistani game show gives away babies as prizes

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Forget a new convertible or a Caribbean getaway for two. TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain in Pakistan is giving away babies.

The game show, called "Aman Ramazan," has been dubbed Pakistan's version of "The Price Is Right," with members of the audience receiving prizes, typically a motorbike or kitchen appliance, for correctly answering questions on the Koran, CNN reported Tuesday.

But two unsuspecting couples were in for a surprise when they were presented with baby girls as prizes.

"I was really shocked at first. I couldn't believe we were being given this baby girl," Suriya Bilqees, now a mother of a 2-week-old, told CNN. "I was extremely happy."

Mr. Hussain said the show — broadcast live during the month of Ramadan — is all in the spirit of giving and making people happy.

"At Christmas, there's Santa Claus to give everyone gifts. It's important for Christians. For us, Ramadan is a really special time, so it's really important to make people happy and reward them," Mr. Hussain said.

The baby girls given away on the show were found by the Chhipa Welfare Association, which said it receives or finds more than a dozen abandoned babies a month, CNN reported.

"Our team finds babies abandoned on the street, in garbage bins — some of them dead, others mauled by animals. So why not ensure the baby is kept alive and gets a good home?" said Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the organization. "We didn't just give the baby away. We have our own vetting procedure. This couple was already registered with us and had four or five sessions with us."

The couples didn't know they would be new parents when they were invited on the show, and no paperwork was not processed before it aired, CNN reported.

Adoption is not officially recognized in Pakistan, so the couple will have to apply for guardianship at a family court, CNN said.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.