Transcript of an interview taken for Arabic media after the Award Ceremony:
Age, job, number of years in the UAE?
I am 47 years and working as Communications Coordinator for Total, French Oil Company. I have been a resident of UAE since 1988. My wife, Rajashree Menon and myself live in Abu Dhabi.
The Award : Ministry of Interior Excellence Award
Why were you given an award by the MoI?
It was for my continuous contribution to the MOI on several subjects with a qualitative outlook intended to improve the harmonious living of the residents, both locals and expat in Abu Dhabi and UAE in general.
When did you receive a call from the police? What was your initial reaction?
The award ceremony was on Thursday, 5th February 2015 and I received a call from a lady Lieutenant colonel who introduced herself and verified me before she said to me about it.
It was a totally unexpected call and I was a bit surprised and made sure it was me she was trying to contact. I then asked her details about the award and which suggestion of mine has been selected. Her reply was that I am a regular contributor and hence there were more than one of merit that made them consider me for it.
When you were at the capital police HQ how did you feel, as the awards were for the police and other individuals? I believe there were a few or no Asians apart from you. How honored were you being among the award recipients?
It was indeed a special feeling to go to the premises of Capital Police on that day. Reaching there, I found myself to be the one of the only Asian expatriate among the lineup of police personnel in uniform and in civil dress.
I realized it was something special to be among them. They were from different emirates. Talking to some of them and watching them interacting with each other I realized, we all carried the same zest for Safety. We all considered it as our responsibility to act with diligence on whatever subject we handled.
It also confirmed one common truth that each one of us did our individual actions without ever thinking of any remote possibility of being selected for such a prestigious award!.
Now can you tell us when you started providing suggestions and proposals to the police? Were most of the suggestions pertaining to road safety? Can you tell us
It is a continuous process started way back from 2006, when I was awarded by Dubai Municipality as Distinguished Contributor for their Have Your Say Programmes. It was followed in 2007 too.
The dedicated Have Your Say programmes by the authorities are a useful platform for those who wish to contribute towards the betterment of community. Abu Dhabi Police’s website and the contact centre abudhabi.ae is of real help for community oriented persons like me. I use various options like the contact centre website and email, then over phone directly to the helpline numbers and also through the Community Police department.
Road safety is one of my primary target. However, it doesn’t end there. I contribute and communicate to them in various other subjects such as hygiene issues etc as and when I get to see an alarming situation, which needs to be highlighted to the authorities.
Some of them are at times considered risky and my sense of commitment to adhere towards community safety have prevailed over personal safety and resulted in me communicating with the authorities. It has never been done with a felicitation oriented approach.
I have always strived myself to promote safety aspects at all time and believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe environment, whether it on the road, or elsewhere in the community.
My actions therefore have been initiated to support the authorities and administration to propagate effectively their messages to more public through writing or other communication means.
It is a two way process to alert the authorities whenever I witness and confirm authentically it is an anomaly which requires rectification. At the same time an alert is passed on to the community to warn them about any danger if it exists. Focus is maintained on this objective and all available platforms are utilized.
Other Awards and Achievements:
I am an active participant in various HAVE YOUR SAY Programmes happening within UAE and around. This has resulted in winning a few prestigious achievements over the last few years
Photo and Text Credits: MOI and Irene Leon (for The National) and WAM/HotelandRest.com
I have expressed this particular emotional feeling within me before. It keeps coming back. To be or not to be a socially committed person? To address or not my observations for improvements to the authorities or not?
Interacting with them I found one common thing, we all carried the same zest for quality and social commitments to make sure safety is of utmost importance at all times.
I wish to inform you that today 5th February 2015, I received the “Ministry of Interior Excellence Award” from Abu Dhabi Police for my safety / community issues related contributions and suggestions.
The function was held today at 10:00 am in their premises at Capital Police Station, Abu Dhabi.
I just wanted to share with you this personal moment of achievement, as a community conscious resident and all the more a committed member towards Safety and welfare issues of the society I live in.
Sincere thanks and regards for your continuous support.
Thursday, 5th Februray 2015
Dear Friends, Please taken 3-5 minutes, watch the video and write to me a short comment which expresses your nostalgic feelings about the once famous Volcano Fountain of Abu Dhabi, and which was demolished in 2004. I am sure, you have many.
I am happy to share that I received an appreciation certificate from Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qassimi of SCHS for my support to the recently concluded Used Book Fair. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the function personally to receive it myself.
Trying my best to create a family of Positive and Quality minded people. Bringing Creativity in to life and Never give up are the two wheels of my life cycle (it has been revolving and evolving a lot and it will continue too). You may visit my related blogs to watch my small steps towards the above cause.
I believe that all great achievements and success in life, and all changes for the better, have one powerful characteristic in common: The First Step. Take the first step, and the journey has a way of taking care of itself.” This is the motto behind my Team 1 blogs and associated groups intended to promote TQM and Positive Thinking values.
I am an active participant in various HAVE YOUR SAY Programmes happening within UAE and around. This has resulted in winning a few prestigious achievements over the last few years like:
• Distinguished Contributor for Dubai Municipalities Have Your Say Programmes in 2006
• 2nd amongst the Top 10 Contributors for Dubai Municipalities Have Your Say Programmes in 2007.
• Winner – Malayala Manorama Jeevajalam Photography Competition 2009
• 1st Prize Winner July 2010 for Community Reporting Competition by GULF NEWS.
The report can be read at:
Participating artist in the Photography Exhibition “Vantage Point Sharjah” by Sharjah Art Foundation, which was inaugurated on 7th September 2013 and will be till 7th December 2013.
Winner – Gulf News Readers Pictures competition – July 2013.
Participating exhibitor at Venice Architectural Biennale – The National Pavilion of United Arab Emirates. – July 2014
Ministry of Interior Excellence Award for contribution to HSE and Community Issues – January 2015
Please find below a random listing of my creative suggestions which have been accepted/ implemented partially or fully or under discussion by the UAE authorities:
With Dubai RTA/Dubai Municipality
– Introduce speed breakers on public transport vehicles
– Introduce road safety kit in new vehicles
– Introduce Speed Awareness Campaign- by way of training, leaflets etc , on going.
– Initiation of safety training for 15 seater drivers
– Display of contact numbers on 15 seater vans and heavy vehicles
– Digital ID card for school children to monitor arrival and return to school from home using various transport options.
With Abu Dhabi Authorities:
– Abu Dhabi Mall pedestrian signals – Adjust the Pedestrian crossing signal timing in front of Abu Dhabi Mall as it is dangerous for public
– Hygiene hazards – Public trash bins in Hamdan street – create health hazards.
– Close the broken barriers on the prominent street before you fine – accepted by Abu Dhabi Police and the authorities have instructed Municipality to close these broken barriers before they fine the public.
– Introduce a system of giving compulsory training for those who do minor traffic offenses and those who accumulate black points – suggestion partially carried out in Dubai, under study in Abu Dhabi.
– Banning of Heavy vehicles, especially trucks from Salam Street during day time and use alternate road of Sadiyat Island to get in and out of Abu Dhabi town.
– Introduction of Bus Route No. 6 to benefit ISCC Abu Dhabi members and Mina Bird Market users.
– Automatic and moveable LCD Road signs on Abu Dhabi – Dubai high way to give warnings during bad weather conditions and other emergencies.
– Increase the frequency of buses to Ruwais and Al Ain during public holidays and rush hours.
– Introduce Free Wifi spots in all major clubs including ISCC Abu Dhabi
Implemented, Ongoing or under finalisation status:
– Bring back the Volcano Fountain – – most historic monument of Abu Dhabi – got demolished during the recent developments and did not find a place. Suggestion to bring it back and persistent follow up to bring it back in a prominent location on the corniche of Abu Dhabi or its new development has resulted in the formation of a committee to finalise their decision.
– Introduce QUEUE system in bus and taxi stops – ongoing vigorously with all major authorities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
– Ban Smoking Corners from front of shoping malls and public places
– Introduce a U-Turn and Signal at Mina Bird Market area to resolve traffic safety issues.
– Bus stop on Electra street requires complete renovation – city image – refer his report in Gulf news.
– Introduction of a special stop for Bus Routes No. 11 and 12 in front of ISCC Abu Dhabi to benefit members and Mina Bird Market users.
– Introduce warning notice at pubs about dangers of drunken driving
– Suggestions to the Ministry of Labour in conjunction with Ministry of Information and Police to utilise the extended summer break to create a Safety and Health Awareness Campaign benefiting the numerous work force who avail this free time.
– Lady drivers for school buses transporting girl students
– Formation of a mandatory committee at schools comprising of Management, Teachers, and parents to monitor and control bullying by students and teachers and also to initiate regular steps for academic improvement.
– Consider special concession to schools, for daily operating items, such as, Telephone, Electricity, Water, followed by discounts on school bus registration fees, staff immigration and naturalisation costs etc.
– Banning of three wheeled electronic cycles from the streets of Abu Dhabi as it creates danger to the rider as well as fellow road users.
– Request for a petrol station at the exit of Mina towards Dubai or somewhere on the new road after the exit from Abu Dhabi city to ease the refuelling difficulties of motorists.
– Call for added participation of organisations, various regional associations and Embassies through public awareness campaigns.
– Call for voluntary participation by Television and Radio media to reach safety related announcements and warnings to reach more public.
– Request to Education Ministry and School authorities should make it a point to create Health, Safety and Environment as a regular topic in the curriculum of children.
– Request to the Department of Transportation and Police authorities to install speed restriction signs and measures on the road towards Mafraq Hospital and also insist Mafraq Hospital authorities to have a circular to their staff educating them not to speed while coming for work, even if they are late.
– Request for modification to the high-tech waste disposal system newly installed in Abu Dhabi city to accommodate easy disposal keeping hygeine issues.
– Request for initiating “Adopt a Zoo Animal” at the Al Ain and Dubai ZOO.
– Request for strict controls and increased Community Policing in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates to eradicate illegal alcohol sales and public drinking.
– Request to start awareness campaign for using mass transport options in UAE to save fuel.
– Request to Central Bank to initiate progressive reforms to control excessive interest charges by banks from customers in UAE.
– Request to start awareness campaign for initiating reading news from print media at schools in UAE.
– Request to increase the frequency of Abu Dhabi bus within city limits during peak travel hours.
– Request to ETISALAT to provide more staff at business centres like Abu Dhabi Mall and also operate a separate counter for corporate customers so that individual customers need not wait for long.
– Request to Sabarimala authorities to modify and improve the Swami Ayyappan road going towards Sabarimala Sannidhanam.
– Request to Sabarimala authorities to improve pilgrimage facilities for the devotees visiting Sabarimala during Mandala Makaravilakku season.
– Request to PET SENSATION, Banglore to urgently install European closet facilities in their Tower for the ease of patients who visit this famous diagnostic centre for specialised test. Currently, the facility has only traditional Indian style closet, which are extremely difficult for patients with Pelvic, Bone problems to use immediately after the scan is done.
– Request to PET SENSATION, Banglore to initiate a combined effort with Banglore City Traffic Police to see that no cars are parked wrongly in front of the hospital as it creates an extremely dangerous situation for pedestrians as they walk passing these cars through the busy street in front.
– Request Abu Dhabi authorities to fix the walkway in front of Abu Dhabi Mall keeping necessary instructions and maintaining proper hygiene throughout.
– Request Abu Dhabi authorities to restrict children playing cricket and football at the underpasses meant only for pedestrians.
– Request to Department of Transportation Abu Dhabi to install an additional coin slot for male passengers to conveniently enter the bus through the middle door and deposit the coins, instead of the current practise of getting through the front door, insert the coin and then get inside using the middle door during rush hours.
– Request to introduce effective measures to control Property exhibitors to submit and get necessary authorisations from UAE authorities to approvals pertaining the property/design structure and quality of the exhibit before they campaign in the UAE to avoid UAE NRI residents getting cheated.
– Request to Cochin International Airport Authority to create a passenger lounge and special amenitis for passengers
– Request to Kerala Government to initiate the sale of Kerala Government lotteries through special kiosks at shopping malls, railway stations, bus terminals and airports.
– Request to UAE Police authorities to initiate special safety compliance affirmation from road users through written assures to be distributed through petrol stations within the country.
– Request to Bangalore Traffic Police to initiate various road safety measures programme through intensive online participation.
– Request to intoduce online registration process to control crowd at Sabarimala, implemented by Kerala Police for this Sabarimala season starting in November 2011.
– Request to stop using of ropes to block and control flow of crowd in queue at Sabarimala implemented by Kerala Police for this Sabarimala season starting in November 2011.
– Request to utilise clean up activities at Sabarimala in co-ordination with various voluntary organisations implemented by Devaswom Board and Kerala Government for this Sabarimala season starting in November 2011.
– Request to Kerala Forest Department and Devaswom Board to take good care of the temple elephant of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikym Temple accepted and prompt actions taken by Minister for Forests, Kerala Government.
Writing, Driving, Computer graphics, Photography, Painting, Playing Tabala and other percussion instruments, Swimming, Playing & Coaching Cricket and Football, Cooking, Promoting Arts, Culture & Tradition, Positive Thinking and Total Quality Management.
A movie which I dream to create…. Working on it. One day very soon.
I love music and I like diversity. So from hard rock to classical Indian carnatic and classical western I find it interesting. As a self learner I listen to music and learn the beats of the instruments while I find solace in it.
I love to read and reads whatever comes on my way. However, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carneige is precious. I also read Lalita Sahasra Namam book (with meanings) and Sai Sat Charita daily.
My interest in Community Journalism urge me to pick up various subjects with interest and my photography and drawing interest complements it with the right photos to give those reports life, meaning resulting it to reach the public with added value. This has also resulted in achieving a more than 60 % of my suggestions to the various Have Your Say programmes to be listened and acted upon in favour by the authorities concerned.
With the above interest, I regularly write and present photographs of interest in letters section and other columns of relevance in the major newspapers like The National, The Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Gulf Today, Malayala Manorama etc and even have an exclusive page dedicated for NRIs at http://www.irinjalakudalive.com a website of my home town.
Manzil – a destination, a home, a hope. A highly profession care giving and learning environment for individuals with special needs enabling them to explore their potential to the fullest. Visit http://www.manzil.ae/ to know more about the organisation.
Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) – Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is a local non-profit organization founded in 1979 as a branch of the Arab Family Organization in the Gulf region, aiming to advance the Arab family and develop the social services it needs. SCHS was authorized under decree number 6/1981 issued by the Government of Sharjah on March 11th, 1981. On October 10, 1995, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammed Al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, issued a decree under edict number 4/1995, declaring SCHS as an independent organization in the Emirate of Sharjah aiming at serving people with disabilities in the UAE.
Visit http://www.schs.ae/ to know more about Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.
Team 1 Talent Share Fan page and Passionate Photographers group.
Team 1 Talent Share blog and fan page is dedicated to promote non-performing and performing art forms amongst children and adults. A Talent or Knowledge within you is to be shared is the motto of it.
Passionate Photographers group on Face book is created and dedicated to promote those who are passionate in photography to click and exhibit more. Every photo clicked is a history. You will never be able to re-create that precious moment. I consider photography as the best tool to promote positive thinking values because you never click an object with a negative output in mind. You are free to upload photos as you passionately take them in your daily life.
My blogs and groups are listed in this blog page and profile.
I also list below some of my favorite blog posts and links for your easy access and reference:
Shiva Sakthi Collections – a series of art work presentations done by me:
My presentations at Team 1 Talent Share blog:
My video contributions:
Phone: 00 971 50 81 22 319
My blog: http://www.clicksandwrites.blogspot.com/
Partial Update on: 05/02/2015