Dubai: Amid the pandemic, some news makes us feel that the humanity is still there on earth. One such news describes a Dubai based spiritual center when they volunteered to feed hundreds of labourers from Sharjah, who lost their job due to the Covid pandemic. Reports say that volunteers from Taijitu House of Om, a multi-faith center in Jumeirah, Dubai served food for more than 250 people. They said that many among those people were not paid for at least one year, since their business went off. The Covid pandemic has all the more rampaged their life and now they have hardly any hope of survival. Most of them are in the Sharjah accommodation site and are waiting for repatriation flights.
The spiritual center has been serving food to needy people since they got an approval for the same, just before Ramadan. “At the House of Om, all the focus was on wellness and healthcare, from the spiritual to the physical to the mental, with workshops for people to wake up their minds,” said Claudia Essex, a holistic healer from Portugal. “Now with permission from the government, we have shifted the focus. It’s a community for sharing love and gratitude and health and this is one of the ways we can help.”
Claudia and some volunteers arrived at the gate of Sharjah labour accommodation block with car load of food on the last day. Sacks of potatoes and rice, cooking oil, pulses, onions and water were distributed at the gates of the complex in the emirate’s Industrial Zone 15. Its residents are 250 men from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh who say they were stranded in the UAE last August after their company closed. They have survived from donations, unable to afford repatriation flights.
“I want to go to India”, said Abhilash Kant, an Indian expat who had received his last payment in August 2019. “I don’t want a salary, I don’t want benefits. For 10 months my wife is calling me, ‘what are you doing there? Come here, come here’.” Mr. Kant, 37, worked for the company for more than six years. His visa expired mid-March and he cannot afford a ticket home to Kerala, India. The camp had even more people, but many flew back to their homeland.
While the volunteers enquired, Mr. Kant explained how their life was in the Accommodation center. He shared a small room with two other men, watching TV on mobile the whole day. About 10 men would form a group and cook the food, obtained from any charity. They would share these meals and pool money for internet connection. House of Om, later said, that was just one example of several such sites they had visited for the last couple of months.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic slowdown has left thousands of labourers out of work and awaiting repatriation. At the same time, the pandemic has spurred UAE residents to donate and volunteer. “I think all the people are more united, more responsible,” said Ekaterina Gorbunova, a volunteer and yoga instructor. “I can tell you, most people are waiting to know when the next drive is.” Ms. Essex agreed. “Before it was talk and less action,” she said. “Now it’s action.
Besides this, thousands in UAE have come forward to help those who had lost the jobs amid the pandemic. UAE government, in Dubai, started a scheme to feed 10 million people in need. This was country’s biggest community service and probably one among that of the world too.