society

11-year-old celebrates birthday by serving iftar for 1,000 workers

Indian boy in Ajman serves iftar to workers on his birthday for the second time

13:19 June 22, 2017
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Ajman: An Indian boy in Ajman has set an example by celebrating his birthday differently.

Sahal Bin Shams served iftar to 1,000 workers at a labour accommodation in Sharjah’s Al Sajja area on his 11th birthday last Friday.

This is not the first time that Sahal, a sixth grader in Habitat School in Ajman, shared the joy of birthday celebrations with the less-privileged people. On his 10th birthday last year, he served iftar to almost 800 workers. Sahal gives the credit of instilling this noble thought in him to his father, who wished not to be named. “Traditionally, we don’t celebrate birthdays. But, when he started going to school, he started taking chocolates and cake for friends,” his father told Gulf News.

When his birthday fell in Ramadan last year, Sahal’s father asked him if he wished to celebrate the birthday with the poor uncles in the labour accommodation.

“I had taken him to a labour accommodation once with some volunteers of a welfare association from my native place in Kerala. They usually take part in a mass iftar supply at Al Sajja labour clusters.”

Sahal was more than happy to accept his father’s suggestion and spent his 10th birthday with the “uncles in need”. This year, his father said, they took it to a new level because it is the Year of Giving.

“When the Year of Giving initiative was announced, I told him to read about it and understand the value of the initiative. So, he was more excited about giving iftar kits to more workers this time,” said Sahal’s father.

The father, who hails from Kerala, said, “I want him to grow up seeing the realities around and stay grounded and be humble and kind. I hope deeds like this will help him in that and he will also be a model to others.”

He said Sahal took part in packing the iftar kits and also preparing the fruits and serving the kits to the workers along with other volunteers. “I am happy he did all that when he was fasting. This time, he had not even had suhour that day as he didn’t get up in the morning. But, he still actively took part in iftar (distribution).”

Sahal said he was very happy that he could feed the workers who are less privileged. “I am very happy that I could do this. After seeing those uncles, I feel lucky because I am with my parents and at my home. They are coming here leaving their kids for working for them. I am sure their kids are missing them.”

The only thing he didn’t like was seeing some of the uncles smoking after iftar. He said next year, when he goes to the camps with iftar, he would also request them not to smoke for the sake of their own health and for their children’s future.