Meet trio who won hearts with their vision for UAE

Filed on January 8, 2021
Supplied photos

The triumvirate won the ‘My Nation My Vision’ campaign jointly conducted by Century Financial and Khaleej Times.

Shobhika Kalra, Haider Sharif and Minette Escober Javier were delighted that their thoughts could strike a chord with the community as the UAE leads the way towards a bright future.

The triumvirate — who won the ‘My Nation My Vision’ campaign jointly conducted by Century Financial and Khaleej Times — wowed the judging panel with their creative visions for the future.

Shobhika, who leads a social initiative that aims to make Dubai and the world wheelchair-friendly, expressed her 2021 vision to empower people with mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive impairment through the right accessibility and career opportunities. Meanwhile, Haider and Minette highlighted the need for sustainable development and initiating actions to preserve a greener community for future generations, respectively.

“It feels really nice to share my vision to everyone. Wings of Angelz is a social initiative that aims to make Dubai and then the whole world wheelchair-friendly. I’m on a wheelchair myself due to a degenerative disorder which was detected at the age of 13,” said Shobhika. She has managed to build over 1,000 wheelchair ramps in Dubai and her Wings of Angelz is launching an app in the first quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, Haider, who hails from Pakistan, said we needed to continue the journey of sustainable development.

“My feeling is that when your vision is being heard, people value your vision, it means that they also share the positive aspirations. Being a winner...I feel that I’m in the same team as like-minded people who are full of positive aspirations. I’ve spent almost a decade here in the UAE, which is one-third of my life. So, it is my second home. I feel very proud that my positive aspirations are welcome,” said Haider.

“My vision essentially revolves around continuing the good journey which our visionary leaders have already set. We need to sustain the growth, we need to sustain the good ventures. If you go back 40 years, there was not much improvisation. But, today, when you look at the UAE, a lot of positive things have taken place: Research and development is happening; human capital development is happening; local investments are happening; and the Middle East is becoming the centre of the world...So, my vision was essentially that you need to sustain your good initiatives and when you sustain it, you make friends and you foster tolerance, respecting others. When you foster tolerance, it will further complement your sustainability and eventually protect the environment.

“Sustaining growth, fostering tolerance and protecting the environment, and how the UAE, my second home, can venture to protect the environment,” he added.

Minette, who works as a nurse with the Dubai Health Authority, feels that the UAE can serve as an example as a leading nation.

“Since I came to Dubai, my life improved not just financially but it also raised the bar, professionally speaking. And it has given me the opportunity to actually venture onto my creative side. So, I feel happy that I was chosen,” said Minette.

“Even though I work as a nurse, I didn’t want to just focus on healthcare, technology or medical innovation. I wanted it to be as broad as possible. At the same time, I also wanted to cover something that would involve people not just as individuals. It has something to do with teamwork for the environment.

“My vision is that expats and locals will continue to be working hand in hand for any success in their field. And when you compound it in the long run, it will not only help the UAE but will also inspire other countries. It will serve as an example, as a leading nation not just for the Middle East but for the world,” the Filipina added.

The campaign garnered massive interest both online and offline, with more than 11,000 vision entries submitted in the microsite throughout the campaign period. The vision entries were carefully assessed by the judging panel comprising Century Financial and Khaleej Times, based on the criteria including the number of votes received and the analysis of the vision submitted.

After deliberation, the 49 winners were announced on Century Financial and Khaleej Times’ social media channels.

The campaign, organised in line with 49th UAE National Day, called upon UAE nationals and residents to share their vision for their family, community, nation, world or the universe on a dedicated microsite

The microsite featured the ‘My Vision Wall’ with a special tab provided to submit the vision statement. Participants were invited to submit their vision on the wall while engaging with the hashtag #MyNationMyVision on their social media channels. Then, everyone was encouraged to vote for the best visions.

The 49 winners will be invited for a socially distanced tree-planting activity to be held at ICBA, Dubai on January 16. They will also receive certificates and gift hampers, while the top three winners will be rewarded with a gold coin each. The event will follow all necessary Covid-19 guidelines.

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