The India Social & Cultural Centre (ISC) building on Mina Road, Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi will pool the professional expertise of its members in various fields to help Indians in distress, the newly-elected leaders of the ISC told Gulf News on Saturday.

“We will strengthen our welfare wing to offer free legal and related professional support to those in need,” said Ramesh V. Panicker, who was elected as the honorary president for 2018-2019.

The oldest and largest social organisation of Indians in the capital, the ISC has more than 2,000 members from all parts of India.

Panicker said the welfare wing would be able to help people in financial troubles by many means. Some individuals and owners of small and medium enterprises [SMEs] often end up in jail for non-payment of credit card bills or loan instalments. “We may not be able to offer money to them. But right professional guidance can help them a lot,” he said.

Most of the ISC members are businessmen and professionals such as lawyers, financial advisers and bankers etc. “I am banker with 36 years’ experience. There are many others with rich experience in key sectors. We all can offer our professional expertise free of cost to solve problems of others,” Panicker explained.

“We will extend similar support to workers also,” he said.

Eappen Mammoottil, newly-elected honorary general secretary, said the welfare wing can help for repatriation of bodies. “We will consider such requests from community members on top priority,” he said.

Panicker said the ISC would also create a databank of job opportunities in the capital. “This will help new job seekers and those who lose their jobs unexpectedly,” he said.

Established in a small building in 1967, the ISC celebrated golden jubilee in 2017 in its Dh35-million five-storey building that has all kinds of sports and games facilities, and provisions for cultural and recreational use.

Arranging a designated parking space for the centre is also their top priority, the new leaders said.

As the nearby open space previously used for parking was closed down for developmental activities, the ISC members find it difficult to get parking.

“The number of visitors has gone down considerably in recent months. We are negotiating with the authorities to find an immediate solution to this problem,” Panicker said.

The new managing committee will also organise various social and cultural programmes to attract all segments of the community, especially families, to the centre, they said.

“We will also strengthen our cooperation with all other Indian organisations and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi,” Panicker said.

The ISC elected the new 15-member managing committee for 2018-19 in the elections held after the 50th annual general body meeting late on Thursday.