Dubai: On the occasion of the 49th UAE National Day, about 51 inmates of the Fujairah Punitive Institution were released on Monday morning, with the help and intervention of Indian expatriate businessman Firoz Merchant.
Merchant, the founder of Pure Gold Jewellers, under the aegis of his humanitarian initiative ‘Forgotten Society’ to help prisoners in debt traps, covered the cost of airline tickets to help repatriate these prisoners to their respective countries. Those released were of different nationalities and belonging to different religious affiliations and the amount was approximately Dh80,300.
Giving back to the UAE
Sharing his joy in being able to bring cheer to so many multinational prisoners, Merchant said, “I am very grateful to this country for all what it has given to me. I want to give back as much as I can to the UAE community. On this UAE National Day, I have extended support to fly home 51 indebted prisoners who were released from Punitive and Correctional Institution in Fujairah. I am happy that they will fly home with beautiful memories of the UAE and they will remember this country for its generosity, tolerance and humanitarian values. They can now celebrate the 49th UAE National Day in peace and return home to their families.”
Excellent public-private initiative
Brigadier General Ahmed Hamdan Al-Zeyoudi, Director of the Punitive and Correctional Institution in Fujairah, said, “This is a great initiative by the philanthropist Firoz Merchant to add a smile to the faces of the released prisoners during UAE National Day celebrations. This gesture reflects the values of kindness and tolerance that our country has become known for. We hope for more such partnerships between the private sector and the Ministry of Interior to support the community.”
The “Forgotten Society” initiative of the Pure Gold Group was initiated in 2008 by Merchant to help debt-ridden prisoners and pay for their airfare to return home. Since its inception, the initiative has helped thousands of insolvent prisoners by paying off their debts or giving them airline tickets to be reunited with their families.