Month: March 2014

On : No attention has been paid to it,’ say Abu Dhabi residents of underground bins – The National Dt. 31 March 2014

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It is indeed sad to note many high profile innovative initiatives instituted within the city die its own natural death within a very short time. These bins, the toilet system etc are straight forward examples. This has to be studied by the authorities and reason to be found out, whether they are not accepted by public or whether technical defaults are the causes for failure.
As regards to waste bins, it is a hygiene concern as many maintenance staff bring down the waste and then spread them down in front of the dust bins before they deposit it into the tall waste bins. They do it, either to segregate the metallic or saleable items from the waste or for several other reasons. Whatever it is, the action results in spreading the area with waste sediments which remain there till a cleaning unit comes and washes away.

A closer look at this issue has to be done by the authorities to keep the city neat and clean.
To read the original article and the letter on it, please visit The National online.

Have you ever tried to photograph a Mynah?

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Have you ever tried to photograph a Mynah. If not ask them to pose for you. They love to get clicked. Especially, when it is by a Passionate Photographer. Share the link, invite your friends and family who are interested in photography to join and present their clicks without inhibition.

Picture of rain explained dangers – The National Dt. 30 March 2014

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Picture of rain explained dangers

The front-page photograph by Silvia Razgova in the March 27 issue of The National conveyed several messages.
First of all, the rain was unexpected at this time of the year. Secondly, it was perhaps a record day for the UAE police and emergency teams with hundreds of accidents recorded on Wednesday. No wonder so many taxi drivers decided to pull over rather than risk their lives on the road, as the picture showed.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Grating at Jebel Hafeet needs repairs – Gulf News Dt. 30 March 2014

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Grating at Jebel Hafeet needs repairs
Reader is concerned about the safety of people visiting and littering at the same time
Ramesh Menon  Gulf News reader Published: 17:30 March 29, 2014

•             Image Credit: Ramesh Menon
•             A grill has fallen down at Jebel Hafeet and is a hazard.
On my visit to Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain a few days ago, I found a series of safety and environmental hazards.
One section of the grill near the restaurant is broken and taken down by some people. This gives a dangerous opportunity to those people who are passionate about taking group photographs and venture to the edge.
While I was there, I saw a group of people taking seriously dangerous steps and clicking photographs without thinking of the danger ahead of them, if they slip.
I also found many venturing to the steep mountain ahead and trekking. With rain and strong winds, these pathways are dangerous and accidents can happen any time. There are also possibilities for other hidden dangers of the unknown kind. And it does not end there. Those who venture out throw plastic cans and bottles.
I humbly request the authorities to take urgent measures to close the grills and install necessary signboards to keep the area clean at all times.
The reader is based in Abu Dhabi.

Be a community reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Send us your videos and pictures at
To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online.

An inspiring story – Gulf News Dt. 28-03-2014

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An inspiring story.

I consider myself lucky to have visited the final day of the Abilities ME Exhibition and Conference, the first of its kind that offers support for the provision of education and awareness to people with special needs and disabilities. There were many interesting presentations and stalls. However, one young and vibrant person offering visitors an explanation about her stall caught my attention. She was Nilofar Saleem. A few years ago, I had met her when she was a student at Manzil, a centre for special needs in Sharjah. Then I met her at the same centre, when she became a staff member. Now, four years later, I was meeting her at this exhibition. I noticed several changes in her attitude. She was more confident and put on her trademark smile when I approached her. She is a person with global development delay (a person diagnosed with having a lower intellectual functioning than what is perceived as normal). Once she recognised me, she told me all about her new job and life. She now works with one of the leading banks in the UAE that has supported her to develop into a self sufficient young individual. It is an inspiring example of how an institution can groom an individual to become a breadwinner for a family and look ahead in life. How many organisations would be willing to support individuals like Saleem to find a firm footing in life?

From Mr Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi

Need to help out – Gulf Today – Short Take – 29 March 2014

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Need to help out
Life is so unpredictable and several times we get to meet people from different walks of life who are in dire straits.
We often feel we are the ones who are suffering without any respite but when we listen to those around, we realise our sorrows are nothing when compared to theirs.
It was in one such instance when I met a young person. He is struggling, with a job that is not permanent and wife suffering from cancer.
As he was talking to me, calls were coming in from collection units of banks for delayed payments. Helpless as he was, he tried to explain his situation.
But, they were not in a mood to listen.
They had their own targets and were suspecting whether he was genuinely expressing his situation or trying a trick with them to delay the payments.
Life around now is not a one-off situation as this young one. There are many.
There is need for more responsible involvement from community organisations to safeguard the welfare of the expatriates.
Residents should be made aware of excessive borrowing than what they can afford, and at the same time, there should be a collective mechanism to step in voluntarily and help those who are in need of emergency medical need.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Drivers must obey rules in wet weather – The National Dt. 27-03-2014

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Drivers must obey rules in wet weather
There has been bad weather once again and multiple accidents on our roads (Heavy rain causes traffic delays and flooding throughout UAE, March 26).
It looks as if some people are determined to prove that whatever the authorities do to promote road safety, they will never change.
The scenario on the Dubai to Abu Dhabi road is the same every day. Even in wet weather, I see many drivers tailgating, driving above the speed limit and reading messages or texting while at the wheel.
The authorities should encourage road users to promptly alert them using 999 or another emergency contact number if they witness dangerous driving. At the same time, maintenance teams should ensure that they place adequate warning signs when there is roadwork happening.
If there is bad weather or other dangerous driving conditions, police, road transport authorities, radio stations and both du and ¬Etisalat should alert motorists.
I strongly believe that until and unless we are able to change drivers’ attitudes, our roads will never be safe.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Letters to the editor, The National
online 26/03/2014

in print 27/03/2014

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

A bench with no place to sit – Khaleej Times – Dt. 24 March 2014

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I believe and propagate through Passionate Photographers group on Facebook that every photo clicked is history. There will be a message or a story behind it. Some told, some untold. The above just an example of how some anti-social elements can damage public property that can be a danger to children and elderly. It is not an image wish to be seen around in a beautiful city. Hope, the authorities will repair and replace it soon as necessary requests have been made to highlight it to them.
Part of a Park, Ride and Click project. A Page 3 listing for an HSE effort.  Inspiring.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Dangerous driving – Gulf Today, Dt. 22 March 2014

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Dangerous driving

After a meeting in Dubai, I was returning back home to Abu Dhabi. It was Thursday around 10:50 pm and the road was busy with drivers either returning home or were visitors to Abu Dhabi for the weekend.

I was crossing the Shahama area of the E11 Dubai – Abu Dhabi road. Roadwork was going on in that area. It is my routine to drive within the speed limit on the 2nd last lane and always watch out for dangerous movements happening behind through all the three mirrors.

Suddenly, I noticed a car coming in extremely fast, flashing the light several times, half through the ambulance and half through the fast lane.

He came and passed in a flash, so much so that I was unable to even identify the type of car or its number.

His driving created a dangerous feeling in my mind. I was aware of the roadwork a kilometre away and the road narrowing ahead.

My mind prompted me to call 999 without any hesitation. Promptly, the central unit of the UAE Police picked up the call. I explained to the officer that I was witnessing a dangerous driving situation on the road.

Upon identifying the route, the officer transferred the call to probably the unit in charge of the particular section. All this time, I was on hands-free and talking to them as I drove ahead. By the time he was able to zero in on the location, I reached ahead to the location where the roadwork was happening.

I noticed several metal particles on the road and then saw at least five cars damaged badly. One of them was on fire. I realised that I had just escaped! If I were one minute ahead, I would have been in that crash!

The officer was still on the phone and I told him, “Sir, no point now. The accident I was trying to avert has already happened. It looks like a major one. Please send the rescue team.”

I am sure he was speeding all along the way. If there was one other person who noticed this dangerous driving and was there to call and alert the UAE Police on 999, a few kilometres before me, it could have been a different story.

Until and unless we are able to change the attitude of these one-off dangerously crazy driving minds on our roads, it will never be safe.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.

Invitation to attend "Rainbow Charity Bazar" – on Friday, 21st March 2014

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Ms. Zeina Abdo and her charity organisation “Smile for Hope” is conducting a “Rainbow Charity Bazar” on 21st March 2014 at the residence of Italian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi. The event is also supported by “Women Charity without Borders”.
Smile for Hope is a NGO in Nepal to support paediatric cancer patients and their families in their plight.
This fundraising effort, “Smile for Hope” in association with “Women Charity Without Borders”, a group of very active Italian Women, supported by the wife of HE the Italian Ambassador to the UAE. This collaborative effort have led to a series of events, started in early February and will culminate with a Spring Market at the residence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy, on March 21st .
100% of the funds collected are directed towards the execution of the projects, and for 2014, they have two major ones, asides from treating patients:
1- Optimal Health Programme in conjunction with the North Carolina State University: during the month of July, approximately 10 students will be joining the association in a remote area of Nepal, screening the health of hundreds of schooled children, and delivering basic hygiene training. If any of the child found with serious ailments, he/she will be treated under “Smile for Hope’s umbrella
2- Building of a 6 bed treatment and welcoming home for these little pure souls coming to Kathmandu with their parents, to fight cancer.
The event flyers presented here will give additional information.
In case you need more information, kindly contact Ms. Zeina Abdo on Phone 050 622 00 92 or email
Ms. Abdo is a women who love taking challenging projects in life. You may read on Abu Dhabi mum scales peaks to raise climate awareness.

Kindly visit, support and make this event a success.