I always love to encourage children and use my blogging activity named Talent Share with the motto “A Talent or Knowledge Within You Is To Be Shared” for it. It is rare that I ignore such an opportunity when I get to know or notice.
During the final days of Ramadan a group of final grade boys from Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) Muroor approached me and told me about their Principal Mr. Neeraj Bhargava’s captivating words: “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.” A simple statement, but it echoed in their mind repeatedly and lead to a brainstorming session to what became the first of its kind by the school during the holy month.
Everything fell into place quickly for the student-teacher led initiative of collecting contributions to buy a thermal flask, fruits and dates for 500 laborers residing in a camp at Mussaffah.
Approximately 5000 students from Grade 3 to 12 participated wholeheartedly in this initiative. Each one of them enacted with a strong sense of respect, value and care to share.
On the evening of 11th June, the children set off with the items in their school buses accompanied by the staff to meet just before Iftar, the unsung heroes. It was a great feeling for the students who participated in this “Spirit of Giving”, charity event organized by ADIS.
“It started off as an idea to give back something small to those who give us silently so much. A week later we were filling the stomachs and setting smiles in many people”, said Ahmed Hashim, Grade 12 and Head Boy of Abu Dhabi Indian School.
Accepting the gifts and seeing the joy which radiated from the laborers made the students realize the infinite value of those simple but by now immensely precious items of love shared.
Participating in such an event for the first time, Aditya Mani, Grade 11 said, “It was a mixed feeling. On one hand, we could experience how they lived their daily life and on the other hand we could see the joy on their eyes. At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about who’s spirit you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made feel better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”
Continuing with his ever smiling expression, which was double this time he said, one of the recipient, who received our token of affection said to us “more than the food items, the gesture of giving us a flask brought memories of our families back home. We will take it back home as it will be more useful to our elderly parents”.
His classmate Umang Bhandari, Grade 11 said “We all learnt about how lucky we are. Seeing their happiness, gave us a joyous feeling that we felt couldn’t be fetched from any other materialistic actions. The happiness I saw in their eyes made me experience something inexpressible. It inspires me now to do something even better for them. After all, a human is a human who lives for other humans”.
Elachezhiyan Kavyan, Grade 8 concurred, “This was an amazing opportunity as I wanted to serve people and experienced it first time. Something new. How people live, not like us! Happy to see them. If there is any such activities in future, I will definitely participate”.
Commenting on the students initiatives, Mr. Bhargava concluded “Our school is a large mix of diverse culture in Abu Dhabi and prides itself not only on academic success, but also on creating school ethos which connects community at its heart. We actively encourage all students to get involved in charitable activities locally and internationally. Although our starting point was altruistic, we’ve found that by giving something to others we’re reaping rich rewards as a school of relevance. Specially, this is the Year of Zayed and the students touched base with his values and sure to inspire and contribute humanitarianly more next time.
Photos by Mohammed Adnan and Ahmed Razak (Grade XI).
Best wishes to the entire team and I am sure that this will be an inspiration for the student community of Abu Dhabi Indian School to continue with sustained interest and effort to serve the community around.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Your report, Forcing UAE expats to pay traffic fines before travelling could ‘change behaviour’ (August 1), shed light on an important issue.
I hope the recently implemented removal of discounts to speeding fines and the new suggestion to make it mandatory to pay the fine before exiting the country will bring a fear factor in the minds of those who violate traffic rules.
Generally, those who pay up diligently have a fear for themselves and other road users and comply with the rules.
What is yet to be experienced as a result of these new moves are behavioural changes from those who seldom travel outside and do not pay up.
I sincerely wish that this group of reckless drivers becomes a minority on our roads. Safe road sense must prevail if we are going to have fewer traffic accidents and avoid unnecessary deaths.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Letters to the Editor/The National:
In an year how many times this small stretch of road at Kadugodi Whitefiled has been filled, digged again and then left like that! Pathetic! Even the tractor guys are finding it difficult to drive. So you can imagine how difficult it is for cars and two wheelers. The way the work for pipeline is being carried out at one point here, I feel, very soon, they will find oil here! No one can drive. Not to forget the speed at which the two wheelers ride on these roads. So, imagine the plight of those elderly or children who walk through this stretch to the Volvo Bus stand or Whitefield Railway station. Authorities – please open your eyes and do a neat job, once and for all.
Lower the height of signboards – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 22 June 2015
The new Onwani system will make it easier for people to access every location in Abu Dhabi. What we have to do now is get used to this change.
However, I would like to point out that the signboards with the building numbers and QR codes have been placed too high. This makes it difficult for short people or those of average height to access them to scan the QR codes.
Lowering the height of these boards will enable everyone to make use of the QR facility.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, visit The National online
Used Book Fair aims to encourage youth to read more
Fair promotes the vrtues of reading, volunteering and brings the community together
By Ramesh Menon, Gulf News reader
Published: 00:00 February 17, 2013
Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is finalising preparations for the fifth Used Book Fair, which will be held from February 26 to March 1 at the Palm Garden by Khalid Lagoon. Books are currently being accepted from anyone who wishes to donate, provided the books are in good condition. One can donate books in any language, but magazines and textbooks will not be accepted.
Schools that donate less than 2,000 books will be allocated one booth and those that donate more than 2,000 will be allowed two. Participants will be given a certificate of achievement.
Students who donate more than 20 books will also receive a certificate.
The Used Book Fair is organised every two years and has a number of objectives, such as promoting the habit of reading by offering low-priced books, planting the spirit of volunteering in the minds of the youth and raising funds to support the services offered by SCHS to people with special needs.
SCHS is a local non-profit organisation, which was founded in 1979 and aims to change society’s attitude towards people with special needs and effect policies regarding disability-related issues. It also aspires to pave the way to a brighter future for children with mental and physical challenges, giving them confidence and a chance to live in a society that provides equal opportunities.
During the four days of the fair, visitors will find books available for as little as Dh3.
The last day to donate books is February 24.
Anyone wishing to donate books can contact SCHS on 06-5669966, SCHS Collection Supervisor Mihraj Abdul Rahim on either 06-5671117 or 050-7965576 or drop them at SCHS premises in the Al Yarmouk area of Sharjah.
The reader is a technical officer based in Abu Dhabi. Be a community reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Send us your videos and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online
Inviting you all to participate in this noble cause.
The organisers are looking for books in all languages. So, all departments can contribute. For example, malayalam, tamil, french or hindi books are also welcome. (No text books, magazines or periodicals please).
A student who contribute 20 books will get a certificate, more books contributed together will bring in more credit to the school. For your convenience, Attached flyer can be posted on your notice boards or website. Deadline to donate books – 20 February 2013.
In case you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.