A popular television host in Pakistan is causing global controversy for his decision to give away babies on live television. Aamir Liaquat Hussain hosts marathon 12-hour shows during the holy month of Ramadan and is watched by millions. His show is a mixture of celebrity interviews, game show and giveaways (including hot meals) for the poor. And while he has long been controversial, many have criticized his latest stunt: giving away two baby girls to childless couples on live television. Hussain says he plans to give away a third baby soon, insisting it isn’t just a shameless quest for ratings, but rather an effort to help unite childless couples with needy infants and promote adoption.
"It is not like parents come in the show, and (we) deliver the baby like a prize. What prize? It is rubbish to say 'who wants to win a baby?'" he told AFP.
The BBC talks to the new parents, and they sound ecstatic. The couples were vetted by a private charity that claims to have carried out the necessary, if quick, diligence. And while the program has caused controversy around the world, in Pakistan the show has mostly been met with relief that the babies were able to find a home consdiering more than 300 babies are found dead each year in Karachi alone.
“If we didn't find this baby, a cat or a dog would have eaten it," Hussain said during a broadcast before handing over a baby girl to happy parents. Still, one of the most controversial aspects of the effort is that Hussain and his production team aren't just scouring the city for abandoned babies, they’re also calling on families who can’t take care of their newborns to hand them over to the program, points out Reuters.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?