A cool way to show good­will

Fri­day mar­ket raises cash for char­ity - and gives fee ice creams to the public

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B_shosh shoshana@7days.ae

Hun­dreds of peo­ple queued to re­ceive free ice cream in Bur Dubai at the week­end, in the lat­est char­i­ta­ble com­mu­nity drive cen­tred around a fundrais­ing out­door mar­ket.

Some 3,000 large tubs of Carte D’Or were given away, many to lower-in­come work­ers and fam­i­lies liv­ing in the area.

The Fri­day Mar­ket on Rolla Street is run by Juhi Yas­meen Khan in as­so­ci­a­tion with the reg­is­tered char­ity the Dar Al Ber So­ci­ety.

The good­will ges­ture was held ahead of the begin­ning of Ra­madan.

The mar­ket it­self has been run­ning for sev­eral months and sees stall­hold­ers pay Dhs250 for spots. The fee goes to char­ity. One pa­tron, Mo­han Pil­lai, from Ker­ala, said he’s been com­ing to the mar­ket ev­ery week since it opened to es­cape high prices in malls.

“I come here for a good time, and to re­lax, some­times with my friends. I come for the cheap T-shirts and free blood checks too,” said the 51year-old se­cu­rity guard, in be­tween spoon­fuls of ice cream.

Pil­lai is one of about 200 peo­ple that take ad­van­tage of free blood tests at a stand at the back of the mar­ket, staffed by nurses from Prime Hospi­tal. They check for di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.

“So far, more than 10,000 peo­ple have un­der- gone free med­i­cal check­ups of­fered by Prime Hospi­tal, while more than 30,000 con­sumer prod­ucts such as Lipton Tea, Mag­num Ice Cream, Dove and Tre­semme sham­poo have been dis­trib­uted free to the vis­i­tors of The Fri­day Mar­ket,” said Khan.

She said the idea for the mar­ket came about three years ago.

“I started a group called ‘Women Help­ing Women’ in which we helped women and labour­ers wher­ever they are,” she said. “We go into labour camps and teach English, and we dis­trib­ute free­bies to them as well, and for a long time we were think­ing we could do it on a larger scale, so the idea came for a Fri­day mar­ket.”

Dar Al Ber has been help­ing peo­ple for al­most four decades with sick­ness, rent pay­ments, and tu­ition fees and hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief, said Salwa Ni­azi, a so­cial re­searcher at the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We look at peo­ple’s needs, and can share with them in their pain, and of­fer them help to get out of their prob­lems or their trou­bles,” she said. “We are al­ways there.”

200 peo­ple ev­ery week have free med­i­cal checks

COOL: Shop­pers tuck in to free ice creams at the mar­ket on Bur Dubai’s Rolla Street

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