The world’s biggest dog, a 10-year-old golden retriever named Kajol, is in a festive mood with a huge festive outfit that reads ‘wishes you a Happy New Year’.
Kajoli is wearing the outfit as part of his wish to have a happy new year and to spread the word about the charity he started.
“He is really happy,” said Shilpa, a veterinarian who works at the Kajols home in the western state of Uttar Pradesh.
“It is the best gift he has received.”
Kajola’s outfit is part of a tradition that goes back more than a century and which has now been expanded to include the word wish, which means ‘wanting’ or ‘seeking’.
The tradition began in India, when a young girl named Kanita Kaula, the daughter of a local ruler, started a wish-giving tradition for her parents.
“In her old age, she would write a wish and then her father would write something for her,” said Kauli’s mother, Kajalakshmi Kaul, who has also been organising the wish-giver’s programme at her son’s home for the past year.
“This tradition has been going on for generations, and Kanita wanted to celebrate it.”
Kaulia started the tradition in a temple in her village, Kaulahampati, in 1878, when she was just a child and she began writing a wish for her mother to see her family once a year.
It was not long before the tradition spread to a neighbouring village.
The wish-writing tradition was also adopted by a couple from another village, and in 1910, the tradition was handed down from village to village.
Kajolta, whose family is from Kaulipati in western Uttar Pradesh, was the first to take part in the tradition.
“She wrote a wish that she was happy to see me every year, and that I should always be happy,” Kajole said.
“Then I thought, why can’t I write a request that I would like to see my parents every year?
So I wrote a request to see them every year.”
This tradition has spread across the world, and the Kaulimas are not alone.
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a programme to support the spread of the wish to help people around the world achieve their wish.
“We are hoping that the wish can reach all parts of the world and that people can see their wish fulfilment,” said Dr. Manisha Kumar, a WHO specialist in infectious diseases and epidemiology.
“A wish is a gift of life, and it is a way of bringing joy to the person and allowing them to express themselves through positive action.”
In the past decade, the Kaimolas have been organising various wish-takers events across the country, including a large one at Kajul’s home last month.
Kaulilas father, Kaji Kajlali, said he had also been taking part in various wish traditions for years.
“If you want to know why I want to see the future, you know,” he said.
‘It is a sign of hope’ A wish-writer named Suresh Kumar, who started the Kjaoli-Wish Foundation in 2015, said the tradition began when his mother was dying of lung cancer in 2000.
“My mother was suffering from cancer.
When she was in the hospital, my father and I started the foundation to help the families of those who had died,” he told Al Jazeera.
“The idea came about because of the suffering of my parents and because they wanted to see their parents once a month,” he added.
Kajaola was among the first people to start the foundation in 2010, and she has now become a major donor.
“Our hope is that the new year will bring happiness for everyone in the world.
So we want to encourage people to live a happy life and to make sure that their wishes will be realised,” said Sureshan, who lives in Uttar Pradesh and has been a wish writer for about a decade.
“There is no doubt that there are people around us who are very happy.
We want to spread that happiness to them.”
Kajaol is one of the many wish-writers who have participated in the charity’s annual wish-making event, which has been running at the village for the last few months.
“They (the wish-makers) are like a team, who have been working together for many years,” said Kumar.
“Kajol’s wish-writers come together every year to help those who have lost loved ones and those who are in need of help.
We don’t know what will happen this year, but we hope that it will be a good year for all,” said the volunteer.
The charity’s president, Sanjay Gupta,