AL Fardan Exchange LLC felicitate Food ATM's founder to celebrate 75 years of India Independence Day

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 10:57 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 10:59 AM

Al Fardan Exchange, a leading exchange in the UAE, celebrated 75 years of India's Independence by felicitating Food ATM founder Ayesha Khan. The company extends its support to the CSR initiative for bettering the livelihood of low-income workers in the country.

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Indian expatriate Ayesha Khan has become a familiar name among the blue-collar workers following the launch of Food ATM in March 2019, a noble community service venture that aims to provide quality meals for the workers at a lower cost. Priced at Dh3, a meal kit from Food ATM comprises a box of biryani, a cup of curd, some pickles, and a small cup of dessert. Through this programme, low-income workers- especially from the Indian subcontinent and other Southeast Asian countries, now enjoy healthy and fairly economical meals, saving them more money to be sent home to their families.

Working out of Ajman, the Food ATM has navigated and overcome several hurdles since its conception, feeding around 2600 blue-collar workers across Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. Today several organisations in the country have extended their support to further this initiative by facilitating partnerships that aim to provide commodities and work orders to blue-collar workers, thereby scaling the scope of this project.

“Being a constant presence in the lives of thousands of blue-collar workers, we understand the importance of the Food ATM initiative and champion it. Our interaction with Ayesha Khan substantiates that many of our CSR objectives align and focus on improving the lives of the blue-collar workers in the UAE,” says Hasan Jaber, deputy CEO of Al Fardan Exchange.

The Indian diaspora is quite large, with more than 3.3 million Indians living and working in the UAE. Of this, an estimated 65 per cent are from the blue-collar category, who remit a large part of their earnings back to India through exchanges like the Al Fardan Exchange. Records from 2018 show that remittances from the UAE reached $18.5 billion, which is around 20 per cent of India’s total inbound remittances of $79 billion, as per World Bank and Reserve Bank of India data.

“Al Fardan is one of the key facilitators of remittances from the UAE. Through our partnerships with Indian banks including SBI, ICICI and Federal Bank, which date back to over 40 years, we can provide instant money transfer services to aid our workers in supporting their families” remarks Jaber.

Al Fardan Exchange has also been actively changing lives for the better. Many employers now create accounts with the exchange instead of banks for employees earning below Dh3000 for salary transfers through the WPS service. The workers are issued cards much similar to bank ATM cards that can be used at ATMs, POS machines, or online banking, making it easier for them to manage their money.

Over the years, Al Fardan Exchange has facilitated instant money transfer at the best exchange rates for low-income workers through 80+ branches across the UAE, ensuring that their hard-earned money reaches their respective families back home. The felicitation event also provided an opportunity to reaffirm the company’s goals and objectives that align with the workers and their needs. The day concluded with celebrations where the entire team of Al Fardan Exchange came together to honour 75 glorious years of India.

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