Abu Dhabi: Whenever Farman Hyder has to help people who need urgent medical care, he approaches his Emirati acquaintances who would put forward only one condition — anonymity. “They don’t want others to know that they helped somebody in need. Once they are convinced about the genuineness of the case, this is the only condition they put,” said Hyder, 55, a Pakistani engineer who has been doing social work in the capital for around 30 years.
“When I first heard about Year of Giving, all the good deeds of those selfless people came to my mind. I feel they are the real heroes of the ‘Year of Giving”, although their names will never be known as they don’t want it,” he told Gulf News.
Apart from supporting patients, Hyder has been donating his rare O-negative blood frequently to the blood bank, helping repatriate bodies of expatriates to their home countries and supporting the jobless and the destitutes.
Hyder is a well known person in the community in Abu Dhabi and his work has been recognised by Asian embassies and community organisations.
Asked whether the good Samaritans, who support him from behind the scene, deserve more credit during the “Year of Giving”, he said; “Yes. No social worker can help others for so many years without the support of such people. President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa’s [Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s] announcement that the 2017 would be celebrated as “Year of Giving” in the UAE is a tribute to all those good Samaritans.”
Hyder said his mother was the inspiration for him to use a part of his income for charity works. Since Hyder came to Abu Dhabi in 1986, he had been regularly sending money to his parents for expenses back home. During his vacations in Karachi in Pakistan, he heard stories of the needy children whose school fees were paid by his mother. She also helped many people to marry off their daughters.
After his father passed away in 1997, his mother found more time to help the needy in the community.
“She did all those good deeds by the money she saved from her family expenses. She kept doing it until she passed away in 2002,” Hyder said.
The “Year of Giving” has also triggered his memories about a man who introduced him to the social work. When he joined a public sector utility company in Abu Dhabi, he noticed a fellow-Pakistani supervisor, Abdul Rasheed from Lahore, who was always busy after his office work. Rasheed would visit the mortuaries of the government hospitals in Abu Dhabi and check about anyone who needs help to repatriate bodies.
Hyder who was impressed with the kind-hearted efforts of Rasheed, started assisting him in his social work. “Rasheed told me about the official procedures for repatriation of the bodies and how to complete the paper work,” he said. When Rasheed retired from service and went back to Lahore in 1989, he requested Hyder to continue the social work which he had been doing. “Unfortunately I lost touch with him afterwards.”
Hyder said a case of sick Pakistani boy who had been suffering from brain tumour and needed to go to New Delhi for treatment convinced him that rivalry between governments was not a hindrance in humanitarian causes. Hyder said a sum of Rs400,000 needed for the treatment of his Pakistani colleague’s son was raised without any big problem but the big concern was getting Indian visa for the boy and his parents. Hyder said when they approached the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi for visa it was issued immediately. He said once the boy and his parents reached New Delhi they were treated very well by the hospital staff and they returned to Abu Dhabi after successful surgery. “That boy is now a 18-year-old young man and studying in a college,” Hyder said.
Hyder, father of four children, believes that he had been rewarded for his good deeds in the form of his children. “I think I am the most fortunate father in this world, because my children thanks to their excellent educational careers are doing well in their lives.”
Hyder said His eldest daughter is a doctor in Karachi, second daughter is a banker in Abu Dhabi, third is studying in final year mechanical engineering in Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi and the only son is an electrical engineering student in Abu Dhabi University.