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Dubai: Indian community members in the UAE bid an emotional farewell to prominent social worker Nandi Nazar, who died of a heart attack on Sunday morning.

Nazar, who was to turn 62 on New Year Day, was rushed to hospital after he suffered chest pain, according to community sources. He passed away around 8am.

Several expats gathered at the embalming centre in Muhaisnah on Sunday evening to pay tributes to Nazar, who had been active in community volunteering services and has touched hundreds of lives in the UAE and India.

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Huge crowd gathered at Embalming Centre in Muhaisnah for Nandi Nazar, a prominent Indian social worker in the UAE, died of heart attack this morning. PHOTO Virendra Saklani

Many remembered him with gratitude for the services he rendered for them and others known to them.

Though his original name is Musaliyar Kandy Abdul Nazar, he was popularly known after his village Nandi in Kerala.

Having landed in the UAE in 1992, Nazar ran a travel agency and documentation business and was associated with a professional group for PROs.

He was known for offering voluntary service for the repatriation of human remains and bedridden patients.

He had helped several people who sought visa amnesty and also supported others in distress in various ways.

As a volunteer, he supported community activities of Dubai Police and the Indian Consulate in Dubai.

Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul said: “I was shocked to learn about the untimely passing away of Nazar Nandi today. He worked tirelessly for the welfare of the Indian community and was always ready to help people in distress. He would organise Iftars for the less fortunate during Ramadan. He brought relief to many people during the Amnesty. I especially remember him for his enthusiastic participation in the community meetings and open house sessions at the Consulate. We will miss him.”

Nazar set up a WhatsApp group named ‘Change a Life, Save a Life’ and coordinated voluntary works. The group members provided extensive support to the distressed during the amnesty period in the UAE and the devastating floods in Kerala.

“My entire family is indebted to him. He took a lot of efforts to coordinate with the consulate and immigration authorities and helped us get the first passport for our nine-year-old daughter and legalise our visa status,” said Kannan, who received Nazar’s help during the amnesty.

“The vigour with which he did community service belied his age. His death has left a big void,” said Naseer Vatanappally, another social worker.

Nazar received several accolades for his social work. During the Indo Arab Leaders Summit and Awards 2019 in November, he was given an award for his social work by Ramdas Athawale, Indian Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. Dubai Police had also appreciated his service several times.

Tribute to UAE

During the National Day celebrations, he gifted a table custom-made in the shape of the UAE flag to Dubai Police as a tribute to the UAE.

The wooden table, top of it having a replica of the UAE map with legs made of clear acrylic, is kept at the Dubai Police headquarters.

An avid reader with a large library at his villa, Nazar was a great fan of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Nazar is survived by his wife Naseema, two daughters Sana and Shibila, who live in the US, and son Saad, who is in Bahrain.

His body is scheduled to be flown home on an Air India Express flight at 2.20am on Monday.