Various community associations, companies, college alumni and individual volunteers have started several charitable activities in the current holy month of Ramadan to help the weaker and poorer sections of society.
A number of companies operating in the UAE have announced that they will be distributing thousands of free iftar packets in the labour camps of Al Qouz, Sonapur, Saja along with conducting summer heat awareness campaigns.
Air conditioned Ramadan tents, free iftar from Malabar Gold
Dubai based jewellery chain Malabar Gold and Diamonds is distributing 42,000 free iftar packets in the the six GCC states in association with community organisations like the Indian Media Forum, UAE.
“We are organising iftar events for the needy across the GCC this year to spread the message of togetherness, brotherhood and peace,” said Sham Lal, Managing Director, Malabar Gold.
The jewellery group has also announced plans to allocate 10 per cent of its profits for the benefit of the poor.
“This year we are doing our Ramadan charity drive with the help of Sharjah Charity, Indian Media Forum and some other associations in the UAE, Bahrain and Oman. In the UAE, we have two air conditioned tents in Rollah and Sajah areas of Sharjah, facilitated by Sharjah Charity, and Indian Media Forum volunteers will distribute free iftar packets at least 1,500 free iftar food packets every day.
“In Bahrain, two Malabar Gold vehicle are going around with our volunteers, distributing free iftar packets. In Oman too, such operations are progressing,” he said.
In Dubai, the jewellery chain and Indian Media Forum will distribute 1,000 iftar packets every Friday in the labour camp of MBM Cleaning Company in Sonapur. In Abu Dhabi and Al Ain too, the charitable activities of Malabar Gold will continue for one month.
WFP, UAE Exchange feeding hungry school Children
UAE Exchange contributed Dh100,000 to the World Food Programme to fight hunger among school children in African countries.
Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, CEO (Global Operations) of UAE Exchange, said: “This contribution is an endorsement of the great efforts by WFP to fight hunger in Africa and a humble step from our side. As a brand which mainly serves the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ segment of society, we understand what scarcity of food means to the poor. We are more than glad to support WFP for the cause.”
Ashraf Hamouda, Regional Head of Private Partnerships & Business Development, WFP, said: “Daily school meals make a huge difference for many children in Africa who may not have anything else to eat. With UAE Exchange’s support, more children will have the opportunity to go to school, which means a better future for them, their families and their communities.”
Meanwhile, UAE Exchange is planning to open new outlets in Africa in the near future, according to Pramod Mangat, Vice President, Global Operations.
WFP recently announced a scheme with distributors of the ‘Tilda’ brand of basmati rice to provide free meals to pregnant woman and new mothers. For every 5-kg packet of Tilda rice sold in the UAE, two free meals will be served to new and expectant mother in poor countries.
Doctors, journalists conduct summer heat awareness camp for 10,000 workers
On Friday, the Indian Media Forum, an association of Indian TV, print, radio and online media journalists in the UAE, and the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates Association (AKMG), a group of Indian doctors in the UAE, will jointly conduct an awareness campaign about summer heat in various labour camps in Dubai, which will start from the Arabian Gulf Labour Camp in Al Qouz, said Elvis Chummar, president of the forum.
He said journalist-members of the forum will make a video presentation on guarding against summer heat, approved by the Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA).
“The first programme will be inaugurated on Friday at 9am among 500 workers of Arabian Gulf Labour Camp in Al Qouz. The Indian Media Forum and AKMG will conduct summer heat awareness campaigns in ten major labour camps for about 10,000 blue collar workers,” said Chummar, adding that the journalists’ association is also taking part in Malabar Gold’s free iftar programme in association with Sharjah Charity.
“After every summer heat awareness campaign, free food packets will be distributed among participants from labour camps,” he added.
A panel of ten specialist doctors from AKMG will answer questions from the labourers about heat- related health problems and precautions, said T C Sathish, president of the Dubai chapter of AKMG.
DHA Twitter clinics for Ramadan health tips
The Dubai Health Authority will hold weekly Twitter clinics during Ramadan to provide an opportunity for people to address their queries on fasting and health. The clinics will be held every Thursday from 9:30am to 11 a.m. and experts will be present to answer queries.
The topics that will be discussed over the next four weeks include fasting and nutrition, diabetes and fasting, hypertension and fasting, and nutrition control during Eid celebrations to prevent health complications and excessive weight gain. The topic for the first week is nutrition and fasting tips during Ramadan.
Wafa Ayesh, head of clinical nutrition at DHA, said: “Nutrition and taking care of oneself is important during fasting, especially when one is fasting for 15 hours a day in summer. So we decided to set up a live Twitter clinic every week so that people can ask us their queries and we can provide them with on-the-spot replies.”
Wafa said precautions should be taken to avoid dehydration. She said intake of large amounts of caffeine-containing beverages should be avoided, especially during Suhoor meals, as it can make a person urinate more frequently which can cause the body to lose of minerals and salts that are much needed during fasting. She also advised people to drink sufficient water and juices from iftar until they sleep to avoid dehydration and for detoxification of the digestive system.
Akcaf, RadioMe join hands for free iftar for labourers
The All Kerala College Alumni Federation (Akcaf) and Malayalam FM station RadioMe which recently joined hands with Time World Cargo to collect over 15 tonnes of dry foods, clothes and medicines for victims of the massive floods in the Indian state of Uttarkhand, are now organising distribution of free iftar in labour camps.
Last year, Akcaf distributed thousands of food packets among blue-collar workers in association with Malayalam FM station Hit 96.7, but this year, they are doing this charity work in a tie-up with RadioMe.
“During the 30 days of Ramadan, each member- college will arrange free food packets for 300 to 1,000 labourers. If the camp has the facilities, we will serve the iftar meals. Otherwise, we will distribute the packets. A campaign is ongoing with RadioMe,” said an Akcaf representative.