Volunteer group plans 1,000 iftar meals this holy month
In keeping with the spirit of Ramadan, a non-profit group, Pratheeksha Oman is continuing its weekend iftar for commuters and taxi drivers this year as well.
Comprising 20 Indian volunteers, the group in its eighth year now, conducts community iftar near the Burj Sahwa taxi stand in Rusayl every Friday. It seeks to provide iftars for 1,000 people this Ramadan.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Ashraf Ali, a member of Pratheeksha Oman said, “Our group has been associated with this noble cause since 2012. The members of our group make all the arrangements with total dedication and discipline.”
The group members and their families start gathering at the taxi stand from 4pm onwards to ensure people are comfortable. “We form an organising committee and select a convener for the arrangements of the iftar. The committee with the support of the office bearers and executive committee takes care of all the arrangements,” said Ali.
A typical iftar menu includes fruits, beverages, biryani and snacks. The biryani and snacks are bought from some of the best restaurants in Muscat said Ali. “We put big tarpaulin sheets for the people to sit, plates, tables, water for washing and cleaning up and garbage collection bags.”
The group ensures food waste and other materials are removed after the iftar. “Many members of the public show their keenness to support our initiative by providing fruits and beverages. Our team arranged 250 iftar meals last Friday [May 10],” said Ali. The guests at the iftar comprise passengers, taxi drivers and others who cannot get home in time for iftar.
“We also provide separate seating area for families who attend the iftar.” Besides organising iftars during Ramadan, the group also supplies cold water and juice to construction workers during peak summers. “We form small teams and visit construction sites in Muscat for the purpose.
“Pratheeksha Oman is known for actively participating in social causes. We conduct regular blood donation camps every four months. Oman’s Ministry of Health has recognised our efforts in conducting maximum number of blood donation camps.”
The group has also conducted organ donation awareness and blood donation campaigns by inviting eminent personalities and experts in the medical field from Oman and abroad.