“Aman Ramazan,” a prime-time game show airing in Pakistan, is giving away abandoned babies as prizes to contestants who correctly answer questions about the Quran, Islam's holy book.
The show has given away two baby girls to two couples, and will likely award a baby boy to another family this week, notes CNN (video below).
“I was really shocked at first. I couldn’t believe we were being given this baby girl. I was extremely happy,” gushed winning contestant and new mom Suriya Bilqees.
The show, which is broadcast live for seven hours a day during the month of Ramadan, claims it's actually a humanitarian effort with the Chhipa Welfare Association.
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“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?” Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the Chhipa Welfare Association, told CNN.
“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.”
However, the couples do not know that they will win a baby until the live broadcast.
“These are the disenfranchised babies that grow up to be street kids and used for suicide bombing attacks. We have tried to show an alternative,” said the game show's host Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
It's not quite a done deal. The winning couples still have to apply for guardianship of the babies in court.