Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The generosity by the community members has made the Ramadan Food Package campaign a successful initiative as thousands of families were provided enough food items to celebrate the blessed month without any shortage of food during the COVID-19 pandemic in Dubai.
The food package drive is a regular campaign by the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) for the deserving segments of society residing in Dubai and northern Emirates.
The drive to distribute food package, enough for a family of 4-5 persons for a month, started at the end of March after the imposing of a lockdown by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
“We at the PAD started the drive in late March as many people, especially the needy with limited resources, were stuck in their homes and they badly needed food at their doorstep. With our teams of volunteers and patrons, we gradually started distributing the food packages which were made ready by our volunteers at our office round the clock,” said Mohsin Al Banna, General Secretary, PAD, while talking to Gulf Today on Tuesday. It is also mentioned that the PAD have been carrying out the distribution of food packages in every Ramadan and for this they have registered scores of less fortunate families from Pakistan and other expatriate communities residing in Dubai and Northern Emirates like Sharjah, Ajman and others.
The food packages contains essential dry food items for a family of 4-5 persons for a month. It consists of flour, rice, cooking oil, milk powder, three types of lentils, tea powder, salt, sugar, dates and instant drinks like Rooh Afza.
“In the last two months, we have distributed around 11,500 food packages to cater for around 55,000 people in different emirates mostly in Dubai. We are thankful for our generous members who always support such charity initiatives aimed to support the less fortunate segment of the society,” he said.
He further pointed that the need of the deserving community members was far high in the month of Ramadan due to the restriction of movement by the government to control the spread of coronavirus but now as time passes by the restrictions are being eased and most of such families will manage.
Rizwan Fancy, director welfare at PAD, said that they dealt with the requests from needy families from diverse nationalities such as Indians, Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Bangladeshi, Kenyans, Nigerians and people from the Levant region for the food package support and “we did as part of our coherent society in the UAE.”
Besides the food packages, the office-bearers and volunteers of the association have also visited various labour accommodations in Dubai and distributed over 50,000 Iftar meals among blue-collar workers.
However, the deserving students of the community have also not been forgotten by the association and its patrons who distributed 75 e-learning devices including laptop computers and tablets for distance learning as the schools were closed.
Last month, it was reported that the medical professionals and volunteers from the Pakistan Association Dubai participated in the ongoing drive against coronavirus in Dubai.
“As the local authorities of the UAE are making all-out efforts to keep the COVID-19 at bay, the Pakistan Association Dubai has joined hands with various other organisations to serve at a COVID-19 centre at Dubai Healthcare Authority’s facilities,” said Dr Nighat Aftab, President, Medical Wing of the association.
Through its strong database of volunteers, the Medical Wing of PAD has managed to assist the DHA authorities with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. These healthcare professionals are serving at the COVID-19 centre at one of the isolation facilities of the DHA.
“Two hundred people came forward to offer their services to a country that is a second home to Pakistanis. As healthcare professionals it is our responsibility to serve our people in this hour of need without a second thought,” she had said.
The true meaning of the Holy Month of Ramadan to share among the less fortunate members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UAE has not been forgotten by the social arm of the community. The Pakistan Association Dubai is distributing food packages among the underprivileged members of the community who have been affected by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far 1,500 food packages, enough for a 4-5-member family for one month, have been distributed across all nationalities and emirates as part of the food drive.
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