Social service group serves 300k Iftar meals in 25 days
Freshly-cut fruits along with a hot meal is served to 12,000 people daily during Ramadan.
Dubai - For the Iftar programme, volunteers come from different walks of life.
Thanks to a devoted group of 200 volunteers, 12,000 blue-collared workers get to enjoy freshly-prepared meals and cut fruits every day since the start of Ramadan. The 22-year-old social service group Model Service Society (MSS) has served a total of 300,000 Iftar meals to workers across Dubai and Sharjah since May 16.
MSS, a society approved by the Community Development Authority (CDA), has been serving 12,000 meals to workers every day. Last year, the society distributed 10,000 meals. "This year we have upped the ante by distributing 12,000 meals," Rasheed Abdu, general secretary of MMS told Khaleej Times.
"By the end of Ramadan, we would have served a total of 360,000 meals," he added. Yacoob Hassan, the president of MSS, said the food had been freshly prepared in public kitchens in Sharjah and Dubai. A total of 5,500 meals are served in Jebel Ali and Sonapur, and 6,500 meals are served in Al Sajja, Sharjah, according to the volunteers at MSS.
Speaking about the group's achievements, Hassan said: "Since its inception, MSS has successfully conducted many humanitarian activities in social, educational and health fields benefitting thousands of people." Its programmes are classified under four main titles - labour welfare, social welfare, student empowerment, and women empowerment."
For the Iftar programme, volunteers come from different walks of life. "We have entrepreneurs, senior managers, as well as blue-collar workers who help us prepare and distribute the meals," said Shajil Shoukath, secretary for Iftar at MSS. "We do not believe in serving packed food to its guests. Freshly-cut fruits and a hot meal is served to 12,000 people every day. I admit, it is a logistical nightmare," said Shajil.
"The Iftar programme help me to experience the joy of giving. The month of Ramadan is a month of cleansing and time to increase good deeds. This program is a good opportunity to practice compassion," said KV Shamsudheen, founder director of Barjeel Geojit Securities and chairman of Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, who has been associated with the MSS Iftar programme for over a decade.
How the distribution is done
"Every camp is assigned a team leader and a group of volunteers. The team comes to the central distribution points at 5pm every day to collect fruits, water, soft drinks and materials for their assigned destination," said Shajil Shoukath, secretary for Iftar at MSS. "They then proceed to arrange the venue, cut fruits and serve hot food in plates to their guests."
The team also breaks the fast along with their guests in the camp and pray the Maghrib in the congregation. "After the prayer, volunteers clean the venue and dispose garbage and head to their home for a wash and night prayers. It's a routine for our organisers and volunteers for all the 30 days of Ramadan," added Shajil.