Courtesy: Meena Shivnani A charity box (top) in the Oud Metha area, Dubai, is filled with trash. Image Credit: Meena Shivnani

Dubai

I generally have a habit of donating old clothes for charity, and ever since I found charity boxes placed by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department near a mosque in the Oud Metha area of Dubai, it has become so easy to put old clothes in them.

A few days ago, when I went to put old clothes into the charity box in the area, I was shocked to see that it was being used as a trash box (as seen in photograph). Not only was it being used to dump trash, it was also overloaded with lots of clothes bags, and it seemed like the box hadn’t been cleared for a while.

When I discussed this issue with my friends and relatives, I was surprised that they had also noticed this issue in their respective areas.

Farhana Khan, who lives in the Deira area, said: “Yes, I have seen the state of the charity box near my house, too. These boxes are being used for trash at times and are overflowing at other times. But, there are a few more boxes that are away from the main road where there is no such issue, so I use them to drop off donations.”

Mariam Maulvi, who lives in the Al Karama area, said: “There is one charity box located at the basement entrance of a mall in our area. I guess it has not been cleared for ages. But, the other ones near my area get cleared regularly.”

From this, I came to know that perhaps in some places, these boxes are not being supervised and people are using them to dispose trash.

In order to highlight this issue to the concerned charitable institution, I called their customer service department. When I spoke to them, they thanked me for informing them about this issue.

The representative was disheartened after I informed him of the issue and said: “Some people are using this charitable box as trash sometimes, which is very unfortunate”.

Moreover the centre also informed me: “Every week, we have staff coming to the mosque, who empty the charitable boxes and bring it to the institution for further distribution”. They assured me that they would look into this issue and take the necessary steps.

The main purpose of donating clothes in the charity box is so that it reaches the needy on a timely basis. Hence, it would be great if these charity boxes are emptied on time, so that the essence of donation remains. People should be conscious about not using these charitable boxes as trash bins when the city already provides trash bins everywhere to keep our cities clean!

 

— The reader is a homemaker based in Dubai.

 

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