At the UAE Red Crescent building during the donation drive. Image Credit: Adithiyan Rajan

The Year of Zayed is a great opportunity for us to learn about the life of the exemplary leader Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. I am truly inspired by the founding father’s commitment to the nation, humanity and environment, which has led me to follow in his footsteps by taking the initiative to continually achieve my goal of creating a positive impact on the world in any way possible.

While we students spend our vacation in many different ways, I thought of making mine a memorable one. While visiting my friends place in our community, I observed that a lot of used school books are being deposited in the recycle bins.

The very fact that our old books, that lie unused at home and are being thrown away, could actually impart knowledge that is ever so crucial to someone in need, provoked me to initiate a book donation drive through which many would be benefitted. I also saw this as a chance to help the less fortunate, especially in the spirit of Christmas and New Year.

The book donation drive was initiated with the aim of bringing joy and happiness to the hearts of as many children as possible by providing them with reading material that will help them gain knowledge while having fun. We, the volunteers of student group “We Care”, hosted this campaign out of our strong beliefs that is in line with our commitment to the environment and society.

At the same time, re-using these books is a great way to tremendously reduce the carbon footprint, since tons of printed paper is not being wasted and consequently, trees will be saved.

We collected various old yet useable books of several genres such as novels, encyclopaedias and textbooks from our friends and neighbours. After collecting, sorting and arranging what we received, we donated around 400 books to the Emirates Red Crescent organisation, where they will be distributed to children in need in different parts of the world, giving these books a new life. We believe that our efforts will bear fruit when the books reach their new readers and brighten up their world.

Gaining knowledge and learning new things starts from reading and we are very proud to be part of an initiative to show our support for the people in need. With such donations, we want to inspire generosity for the greater good of mankind.

We were impressed with the overwhelming response and contributions from our neighbours and friends. This proved to me that everyone is willing to help in whichever way possible. It is very heartening to know that people are so quick and eager to reach out a helping hand to donate for a common cause. It instils a sense of responsibility and faith towards the society we live in. We are delighted that we are able to act as a channel for people to show their benevolence and touch so many lives.

Ria Menon, a student of Dubai, who participated in the drive said: “Many people around the world do not have access to books and education, so it feels good to know that someone somewhere would have benefitted from the books that we donated. This was a small opportunity by which I could give back to society and I look forward to being part of many more such opportunities in the future.”

Manoj Manikandan, another Dubai-based student and participant said: “I was very excited to donate books to ones who need them the most. We should try to donate as much as we can. I am happy to be a part of this good deed. I would like to thank all the donors and the Emirates Red Crescent society for making this possible. I hope our books will help the needy ones and be of use to them.”

I thank everyone who generously contributed to our book donation drive in the spirit of giving without whom this event would not have been possible.

Through these efforts, I wish to inspire those around me to think and act with humanity and kindness for the under privileged just like Shaikh Zayed. We must all unite to bring about a constructive change in our society by any means possible, be it big or small.

Let’s live inspired by the meaningful words of Mahatma Gandhi; “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

— The reader is a student based in Dubai.

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