89hr ra­dio drive col­lects 6,000KG sta­tionery items for kids

Khaleej Times - - NATION - Sa­man Haziq sa­man@khalee­j­times.com

dubai — A ra­dio drive to col­lect sta­tionery items by an In­dian FM chan­nel showed the hu­man­i­tar­ian side of the peo­ple in the UAE.

Over 400,000 sta­tionery items, about 6,000kgs have been col­lected un­der the drive, launched by the ‘Pen­cil Man of the UAE’, K Venka­tra­man (fondly called Venkat), in part­ner­ship with the Emi­rates Red Cres­cent, to sup­port the ed­u­ca­tion of un­der­priv­i­leged kids across the world.

The drive saw a large chunk of con­tri­bu­tion from Tamil FM 89.4 (3,245kg) along with a gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion from schools, in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­rates. The sta­tionery col­lected was handed over to the Emi­rates Red Cres­cent of­fi­cials in their of­fice in Al Garhoud on Mon­day.

Talk­ing about the emo­tional con­nect, Venkat, Dubai-based char­tered ac­coun­tant (CA) and phi­lan­thropist, said: “It was as if peo­ple from across the UAE were wait­ing to do good. We were sur­prised when we started get­ting calls from peo­ple liv­ing in labour ac­com­mo­da­tions who said they wanted to con­trib­ute few pen­cils. The essence of the drive can be seen from the fact that peo­ple con­trib­uted from one pen­cil to whole truck­load of things. It was the emo­tion of giv­ing that came out beau­ti­fully through this drive.”

The essence of the drive can be seen from the fact that peo­ple con­trib­uted from one pen­cil to a whole truck­load of things. It was the emo­tion of giv­ing that came out beau­ti­fully through this drive.” K Venka­tra­man, phi­lan­thropist

RJ Nimmi, head of pro­gram­ming at Tamil FM, started non­stop 89 hours and 40-minute broad­cast on­line to pro­mote the cause and in­vite lis­ten­ers to do­nate sta­tionery items for un­der­priv­i­leged kids. “We started on Wed­nes­day evening at 4pm, with a tar­get of 8,940 items for needy kids. As we ended the long­est show ever by a sin­gle RJ in this re­gion on April 15 morn­ing at

The re­sponse was over­whelm­ing, as we saw 5,000 peo­ple walk into our of­fice in just four days. Peo­ple started pour­ing into our ra­dio sta­tion from early morn­ing.”

9.40am, we were sur­prised to see that we had sur­passed our tar­get and col­lected 229,843 sta­tionery pieces, said Nimmi.

“My RJ marathon was an act of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety and my ra­dio sta­tion. We asked lis­ten­ers to do­nate sta­tionery and the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing as we saw 5,000 peo­ple walk into our of­fice in just four days. I was al­lowed a five-minute break ev­ery one hour.

RJ Nimmi, head of pro­gram­ming, Tamil FM

We will send these items within the UAE to un­der­priv­i­leged kids and also to our schools and refugee camps in Jor­dan and Ye­men.” Mo­ham­mad Al Za­rooni, gen­eral man­ager, Emi­rates Red Cres­cent So­ci­ety

So I ac­cu­mu­lated my breaks and took a 60-minute break af­ter ev­ery 12 hours,” she added.

“Peo­ple started pour­ing into our ra­dio sta­tion from early morn­ing un­til late night. The cause we part­nered for was some­thing that all fam­i­lies and stu­dents could re­late to as the school ses­sion is start­ing and they wanted to con­trib­ute so peo­ple came in big num­bers,” said Sona Ram, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Tamil FM.

Aditya, who served as an au­di­tor for the col­lec­tion, said: “The last four days were emo­tional for us, see­ing the hu­mane side of peo­ple in the UAE. It didn’t mat­ter how much they gave, it was the feel­ing at­tached to their con­tri­bu­tion. Along with seven oth­ers, I sorted out the sta­tionery items. It was quite tir­ing but the crowd that came to con­trib­ute kept us go­ing. I have do­nated be­fore but never par­tic­i­pated in the ac­tual work. This ex­pe­ri­ence has changed me for­ever and I will work more to give back to the com­mu­nity.

“We will send these items within the UAE to un­der­priv­i­leged kids and also to our schools and refugee camps in Jor­dan and Ye­men,” said Mo­ham­mad Al Za­rooni, gen­eral man­ager of UAE Red Cres­cent So­ci­ety.

tamil fm 89.4 saw around 5,000 peo­ple walk into their of­fice in just four days, con­tribut­ing 229,843 sta­tionery items in to­tal.

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