Abu Dhabi: It was the first time in her ten-year life in Abu Dhabi as a cleaner that she was invited to an iftar get-together. “It was a new experience for me. I enjoyed delicious food with all my colleagues and new friends. It was so nice,” Saroja, 49, an Indian, told Gulf News.
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She and her colleagues tried their best in a craft activity to create a decorated glass holder.
“In the given thirty minutes, they made wonderful designs that impressed us,” said Sunita Wagle, president of the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) in Abu Dhabi, which organised the event last week.
Around 40 women from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and the Philippines, who work as cleaners and housemaids in the city, participated in various entertainment and educational activities as part of the iftar gathering.
After creating the designs using glue and yarn in various colours, they had to decorate it with a smiley. “It was a symbol of our message ‘to glue your stress to the tumbler and have a smile on your face’. Their smiling faces proved that they took the message to their heart,” said Annu Chouraria, general secretary of the ILA.
Sabeena, 37, a Bangladeshi, said the event reminded her of a picnic to Al Ain, organised by a voluntary organisation for women workers two years ago. “I am experiencing a similar happy environment here. These are the rare moments we forget everything and enjoy ourselves,” she said.
Lakshmi, 36, a Nepalese, said she was delighted to get a henna design on her hands done by an ILA member. “It looks beautiful.”
Aruni, 46, a Sri Lankan, said she was mesmerised by the music and tried her best to perform well in the games.
They all enjoyed delicious food and music. It was the third consecutive year the ILA organised the iftar gathering for women workers.
Many workers won prizes in a quiz competition about Ramadan conducted by ILA members.
The ILA leaders said their initiatives were in line with Year of Giving announced by the UAE leadership.
It was a benevolent gesture to help those less fortunate, add some moments of happiness in their life and help them forget their daily woes, they said.
The association also provided each helper with a beauty and skin care kit.
“It was nice to see how ladies from various religions and different parts of the world embraced the spirit of Ramadan and cherished the essence of sharing and caring,” said Chouraria.
The ILA donated electronic equipment to Ability Centre, a school for special needs children in Abu Dhabi, at the event. Hanaa Al Saeed, manager of the centre, expressed her gratitude by presenting the ILA with a memento of appreciation for their continuous support to the school.