Dubai - The workers completed a four-and-a-half-month English language training programme called SmartReading.
Around 300 blue-collar workers were treated to a movie on Friday after successfully completing their four-and-a-half-month English language training programme called SmartReading.
SmartLife, a Dubai-based NGO, has been conducting the programme for the workers to not only improve their communication skills but also to empower them.
Vox Cinemas Cineplex Grand Hyatt reserved one theatre completely for the workers and their 30 teachers, who accompanied them for the movie that started at 9.45am. They were also provided with popcorns, cold drinks and handed over lunch packs after the film.
A young AC technician from India, Radheysham Puran Mishra, who has been in the UAE for little over two years, said this was his first such leisure outing. "The last one-and-a-half-year of my life has been a memorable experience as I am reliving my childhood by being a student here." He added: "Through Smart Reading, I have got the power to communicate with people and gained a lot of confidence."
Mishra said for him, it was not only a movie outing, but more like a family get-together. "Such gatherings give us a sense of belonging. We love the feeling of being treated with love and being pampered by our teachers," he said.
Another blue collar worker from Pakistan, Lubna, who works as a bus conductor at STS, said she has experienced a sea-change in her confidence level after joining the SmartReading programme.
"I did study back home in Pakistan but never had the courage to speak in public because my English language skills were not good. I was never encouraged the way I am being encouraged here."
SmartReading project lead and president of SmartLife Manjula Ramakrishnan said: "Truly depicting the Year of Tolerance, language or nationality did not matter, as students from various ethnicities watched an exclusive screening of a movie together."
The workers were part of the 2019 H1 intake of SmartReading programme from across seven centres in labour accommodations in Al Quoz, Jebel Ali and DIP.