Indian expat college friends in UAE host iftar for hundreds of mothers

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Indian expat college friends hosted an Iftar dinner to honour mothers in Dubai

Dubai: Indian expat Soudamini Amma has visited different workers’ accommodation in Dubai to distribute free iftar meals to workers along with her son Rajeev A Pillai on most of the days this Ramadan. The 83-year-old was among around 200 mothers who were honoured at a special iftar held in Dubai on Monday.

The special iftar dedicated to mothers was held in honour of Mothers’ Endowment campaign launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The iftar was organised by AKCAF Association, an apex body of alumni associations of over 100 colleges from the South Indian state of Kerala living in the UAE.

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Proud moment

“I feel so happy and proud to join my son and friends from AKCAF who distribute iftar to so many workers here,” said Soudamini Amma. “I am also very happy to attend this iftar for mothers from various communities, displaying the harmony and tolerance among the people here,” added the retired college librarian.

Approved by the Community Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (ICADA) in Dubai, AKCAF has been in the forefront of several community welfare initiatives including the distribution of free iftars to workers. This Ramadan, the organisation’s volunteers distributed around 10,000 iftar boxes every day, said Paul T Joseph, president of AKCAF.

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Guests enjoy Iftar dinner hosted in Dubai to honour mothers
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“When we started as a small group about 25 years back, we gave food to some workers once in a while in Ramadan,” he recalled.

“The initiative grew over the years and it became a regular affair on all 30 days of Ramadan. Even the number of labour accommodations we served also kept growing. This year, we served two big labour complexes each in labour-centric areas such as Muhaisnah, Al Quoz and Al Ghsuais.”

The iftar boxes are primarily contributed by the college alumni members of AKCAF. “On an average, we distribute around 8,000 to 10,000 iftar kits. This year, West Zone has contributed 1,000 food kits each day of Ramadan. We also get the support from the volunteers from Nad Al Emarat group in distributing the iftar kits.”

Thanking mums

He said AKCAF was inspired to host a special iftar for mothers after Sheikh Mohammed announced the Mothers’ Endowment campaign, which aims to honour mothers in the UAE by establishing a Dh1 billion endowment fund to sustainably support the education of millions of individuals around the world.

“We wanted to thank all the mothers around us. Many are our members who are mothers. Then we have mothers of our members and mothers from other organisations who are supporting us.”

A group of more than 50 mothers volunteering for Nabd Al Emarat, most of whom are Emiratis, attended.

Parveen Mahmoud, 52, an Iranian volunteer with Nabd Al Emarat, expressed her happiness to be part of AKCAF’s iftar distributions and the special iftar for mothers. “It is a very nice experience. My team members are also very happy that someone has thought about us, the volunteering mothers. This is the first time that we got such an honour and special treatment,” she said.

Consul General of India in Dubai Satish Kumar Sivan was the chief guest at the event.