The 11-year-old boy who became the Jaipur police commissioner for a day last year died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Monday.
Girish Sharma was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease in January last year and had since required constant medical care. His father, Jagdish, a street vendor in Sirsa, Haryana, had brought him to Jaipur’s SMS Hospital when the Make a Wish Foundation stepped in.
“I want to be a police officer,” Girish told them.
The Make a Wish Foundation, which has fulfilled wishes of 2,550 children over a decade, coordinated with the Jaipur commissionerate for the nominal, day-long change of guard.
The foundation’s state coordinator, Sunita Shah, said most children wish for a cycle, a bike or to meet a film star. “Girish’s wish was difficult to fulfil but the Rajasthan police responded positively and we made him the police commissioner for a day,” she said.
On April 30, 2015, Girish arrived at the office of the Jaipur police commissioner in a red-beacon car, looking sharp in his crisp new uniform. He was welcomed with a guard of honour before he strode into the commissioner’s chamber.
Then police commissioner Srinivas Janga Rao gladly vacated his chair. “It was good to hear that children wish to join the force with a mission to serve the nation,” he told reporters.
But the happiness was short-lived. Girish’s condition deteriorated shortly after.
It was then that former Sirsa MLA Gopal Kanda extended support to the family. “He (Kanda) sponsored Girish’s treatment at Medanta hospital. He spent around Rs 21 lakh on him, including the expenses for a kidney transplant,” Jagdish told HT over the phone from his hometown in Haryana.
In October last year, doctors successfully transplanted Girish’s failing kidney with the one donated by his mother. But his condition failed to stabilise.
“We took him to AIIMS on Monday where doctors declared him dead at 10pm,” Girish’s father said.
After fighting for over a year to save his son, Jagdish no longer wants to remember those days of constant hospital visits. “I burned all the papers and the medicines with him in the pyre. When I have lost my son, why should I keep the papers?” said Jagdish
“Girish’s illness destroyed our family.”
Girish is survived by his father, mother and three siblings — two sisters and a brother, all school dropouts.