These 10 women in UAE made a difference by distributing 10,000 food kits

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Dubai - 'Since February, we have distributed over 10,000 food kits and 37 air tickets to individuals and families in need'

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sun 26 Jul 2020, 1:47 AM

A community group consisting of 10 Indian ladies have distributed over 10,000 food kits to distressed individuals and families amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The informal group, Community and Social Work (CAS) Ladies formed in 2008, is spearheaded by a small, tight-knit group of working women and homemakers.
The group, with support from the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), a welfare initiative for providing support to Indian expatriates in need, and the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, has also distributed 37 free air tickets to stranded Indian expats. Formerly known as the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) in Dubai, the group has been actively involved in resolving issues of distressed Indians and running awareness campaigns in the UAE.
Kusum Dutta, social worker and member of the group, told Khaleej Times: "Since February, we have distributed over 10,000 food kits and 37 air tickets to individuals and families in need. We have a wish list for the grocery kits. Each bag contains basic amenities to keep a family or individual running for a few weeks to a month at least." The bags contain lentils, rice, flour, oil, spices, biscuits, noodles, tea, sugar, and canned milk for example.

The kits are distributed to labour accommodations and homes of couples and families in need. She explained: "We receive recommendations of families in need from the consulate as well as the PBSK. We have a simple screening process and those with genuine need are given these food kits as well as the air tickets."

Members of the group have said they were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community during these hard times. Samita Khanna, another member, added: "People in the UAE have been excellent. The Indian community came forward in large numbers to help those in need."

She said the demand for food kits have drastically reduced. "We purchase the food packets from wholesalers, who pack them into smaller bags which can be easily distributed. Initially, we were also packing the kits."

Khanna added: "We have also distributed hot food packets. However, food kits seemed to be the more logical choice. This is going to be an ongoing process, as we will continue to provide food and tickets to those who need help."

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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