Arjun Rampal was in Dubai recently for a short break. The star had stated on his micro-blogging site, “… Chill time, with great Lebanese food, shisha and friends.” But there was also more on his mind.
The star was among the scores of volunteers at the Dubai World Trade Centre distributing boxes of daily essentials to the labourers a large majority of whom are Indians. Arjun was part of an initiative in the UAE that aims to improve the lives of this labour class who are mostly engaged in construction and building activities and live in what is called labour camps.
Says an onlooker, “The labourers were surprised to see Arjun perched atop a truck handing out the essentials along with the other volunteers. The star’s presence brightened up their faces. Their only source of entertainment is Bollywood and seeing a star amidst them surely made their day.”
Adds the onlooker, “They were touched by the concern the actor showed for them. He felt this was his way of appreciating the work they do. They don’t have their families around and miss their home country. Arjun’s gesture cheered them up.”
The packages that the star distributed contained stuff like bed sheets, towels, pillows, toiletries and some food items. Its purpose was to give the labourers a chance to live their life with dignity. The packages were put together by volunteers as part of UAE’s largest charity event of the year during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.
Jacqueline too for a cause
In November, Jacqueline Fernandez had attended an event in Bahrain to create awareness towards the upliftment and empowerment of workers from India and Sri Lanka, who are hired as labourers.
As reported ‘Charity begins at home’ (HitList, November 6), she considered the cause close to her heart as it involves people from her birthplace (Sri Lanka) and her work place (India). Jacqueline, who grew up in Bahrain, felt she could provide her voice to highlight the conditions of the labourers from the subcontinent.