UAE-based expat who repatriated 2,000 bodies voted best Indian social worker in GCC

Calicut Restaurant, which has been distributing free food to the needy for 40 years, is the best organisation

An UAE-based Indian has been voted the best Indian social worker in the GCC by a leading South Indian television channel.

Ashraf Thamarasshery, who lives in Ajman, will be honoured for his selfless service of helping repatriate about 2,000 bodies of expatriates.

He along with 10 other social workers will be awarded during the Pravasolsavam, Festival of Expatriates, on March 28 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Popular Malayalam star, Sreenivas, will host the show while young acting sensation, Fahad Fazil will grace the occasion.

Media One TV had sought nominations from public and institutions to select best Indian social workers from across the GCC. The one-year-old channel short-listed 10 expats as part of its celebration of  50 years of Indian expatriate life in the GCC.

Ashraf Thamarasshery said he is happy because unlike many other Indian television channels that often honour stars, celebrities, politicians or businessmen, Media One TV has chosen to award social workers who help expats. “Even the Pravasi Bharath award is given to the rich and affluent NRIs only. This should set a new trend in the Malayalam television industry.”

“I have been helping expatriate families for the last 14 years.  I have helped repatriate about 2,000 bodies to 28 countries. Emirates 24|7 had featured Ashraf in August 2012.

Mohammed Ali Padapprambil from Jeddah; Shihab Kottukadu and Safia Ajith, who do social work for Indian prisoners in Saudi Arabia; PM Jabbir (Muscat) and  KS Mohammed Ali (Salalah) from Oman; KT Salim (Bahrain); Kareem Abdulla (Qatar); and Thomas Mathew Kadavil (Kuwait) are other social workers voted as the best in the GCC.

Best expat organisations

Among the three expatriate organisations voted as the best by Media One viewers is an Indian restaurant in Khorfakkan - Calicut Restaurant -  that is famous for serving free food to the hungry and poor expatriates for over 40 years.

MCA Naser, Middle East Head of Media One TV, said: “Calicut Restaurant is selected because its owner the late Kanji Moulana began giving free kanji (rice porridge) to expatriates who reached the Khorfakkan shore in launches and boats from India in the 1960s. After his death, his son Siddique, has continued the tradition. He distributes free food to at least 25-50 people every day.”

The Kerala Muslim Cultural Center (KMCC) and Sevanam Center, Sharjah, are two others organisations that are voted the best community associations. KMCC is selected as the best organisation for its humanitarian and charity driver, Naser added.

All the winners were selected based on the votes by viewers of Media One after countrywide committees nominated social workers and organisations.


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