Anishka Jha and her neighbours prepare iftar packs for workers in their building. The packs have dry fruit, laban drink, biryani and other items. Image Credit: Supplied

Student and neighbours join hands to prepare iftar packs for workers

This year Ramadan held special significance as I went through myriad of changes in my thought process and habits. I have been a regular reader of the Gulf News special column on the Ramadan Tolerance Campaign, and each write up inspired me to do the needed. I have been doing iftar handouts every year for needy people. This year, I wanted to do more, not only for the workers who were fasting in the scorching heat but also for those who work around me to make our life comfortable. My mother inspired me to serve homemade food for iftar to the helpers and workers of our building. In this noble initiative, other ladies from the building irrespective of any culture, religion, language, all joined us in preparing food for the workers.

Every day, my neighbours and I are preparing different varieties of food and do the packing together in an eco-friendly bag. Once everything is ready, workers, as many as 20 to 25 come to take the packets. The packets have dry fruits, laban drink, dessert, fruits, biryani and vegetable dish with flat bread. We give it to the cleaners, maintenance workers and guards who are fasting.

We aim to continue the efforts until the end of Ramadan.

While preparing the food for the workers the mothers have only one motive that the fasting Muslim workers should not miss their home during Ramadan. They should get the same taste of food that they used to get back home. Everyone is inquisitive to contribute maximum in preparing Iftar for the workers. While preparing and packing food together, tolerance and respect for the community around us pervades the whole atmosphere.

After working hard until late afternoon, in such a hot and dry weather, when they get food packets their faces express a sense of gratitude and respite. We just see them as human beings who are following their duty towards God with dedication and devotion.

— The reader is a student based in Dubai.

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College buddies distribute meals to workers

Rafeez Ahmad
Rafeez Ahmad and his friends have distributed 400 meals this Ramadan. Image Credit: Supplied

This year is the first one in which I have spent Ramadan without my family around me. I moved to the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah to pursue my colleage degree, leaving my family in Saudi Arabia.

Feeling homesick, alone and endlessly missing my mother’s food, I decided to help those who are alone like me and those who are needy.

In UAE, every one cares for all and the month of Ramadan was perfect to highlight that further.

I decided to visit a labour camp in Ras Al Khaimah and ask them about their condition during the month. Most of them told me that they wait for vehicles to drop off food for iftar and if that doesn’t’ happen on the day, they visit the local mosque. I wanted to give them the certainty of having a proper meal to end their fast.

I reached out to a group of my friends and we decided to collect enough money to feed at least a few hundred people at the camp.

To my surprise, the support was overwhelming. Until now, my friends Tawfiq Ahsan,

Adnan Hassan, Amir Khosro and I have managed to provide over 400 meals. My goal was specifically to distribute 150 meals during the last 10 days of the month and we crossed that number and provided 200 so far.

Understanding others’ suffering and empathizing with those who might not have enough is the essence of the month. I realized this after spending it away from my family.

— The reader is a student based in Ras Al Khaimah.

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Dubai youngsters do 30 acts of charity for 30 days of Ramadan

Aditi Gandhi and Aaditya Ghandhi
Aditi Gandhi and her brother, Aaditya Ghandhi are donating and providing meals this Ramadan. Image Credit: Supplied

I am a grade six pupil and along with my brother, I’ve decided to be a part of a campaign this Ramadan. A radio station in association with the Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has come up with a wonderful initiative — the Ramadan Challenge to inspire children all over the UAE to be kind and giving during the month. It is a 30-day challenge for children to encourage them to perform 30 different acts of kindness or good deeds.

Until now, we have done deeds to save the environment by adopting a green lifestyle by properly disposing waste at home, minimum usage of plastic bags and reducing our water consumption.

We also looked into being charitable by donating clothes, books and toys for underprivileged children and planned a community iftar meal distribution.

Bala, a watchman based in Dubai, who benefited from the campaign, said: “We are workers who are away from our own families, working day and night to earn a living in Dubai. We all felt happy, grateful and thankful when we received Iftar meals through this initiative. It showed us that someone cares for us too.”

— The reader is a student based in Dubai.

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