Five-fold welfare project by Indian body targets thousands of needy expatriates

With an aim to protect the interests of expatriates living in Dubai, an Indian socio-cultural organisation is offering medical expense coverage for tens of thousands of low-income workers and other needy sections for their treatment both in the UAE and back home.

This is part of a massive five-fold social welfare initiative in support of expats in distress, involving millions of dirhams of funds.

The medical services offered by the project, which was announced by Dubai Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (Dubai KMCC) on Thursday, includes free health cards to deserving patients, follow-up clinics and periodical check-ups, besides financial assistance for needy patients with chronic cases to meet treatment costs in India.

“The community medical care projects —”My Health” and “My Doctor” — are aimed at providing specialist medical care to the needy, including large numbers of labourers who are unable to bear the costs of their medical treatment either here or back home,” said PK Anwar Naha, president of Dubai KMCC.

“There are a large number of low-income expatriates who suffer from various illnesses like hypertension and diabetes but are not able to seek proper medical care due to varying reasons, including lack of awareness and proper guidance, poor wages, and absence of health cards,” he noted.

Ibrahim Murichandi, general secretary of KMCC, said, “About 2,000 deserved expatriates would benefit from the “My Health” group medical insurance project in its first phase, covering their treatment costs up to Dhs50,000. The beneficiaries can seek treatment at medical facilities in the UAE or detailed check-ups and treatment back home, the medical expenses of which will be reimbursed when they come back to the UAE.”

“In the “My Doctor” programme, doctors from various medical branches will screen and treat the needy patients at the new premises of KMCC in Dubai every month,” Murichandi said.

“The patients will be provided with free medicines from pharmacies linked with the programme, and if required, referred for detailed treatment and a host of free medical checkups including ultrasound scanning, ECGs, blood glucose level and other tests at four associating clinics. In chronic cases, the patients will be sent to India,” Murichandi added.

TP Mahmoud, KMCC treasurer, elaborated that the five-fold social welfare project for the year 2012-2013 also extends its support to students with financially-struggling Indian parents, as well as assisting those who are in distress with several sorts of legal issues.

“A legal support cell set up within the KMCC premises plans to conduct sittings by a panel of three legal experts and advocates every fortnightly to provide legal assistance and awareness to about 2,000 Indians in the current year,” he added.

“The aim of the project’s fourth programme, entitled ‘My Future,’ is to support struggling students from five Indian schools in Dubai, providing them with books, uniforms, fees and even laptops,” Mahmoud said.

“The fifth project in the line is a pension scheme involving disbursement of a monthly amount of Rs1,000-2,000 to about 200 needy Dubai returnees to India in the first phase. The existing programme of granting Rs500,000 to impoverished family members of expired expatriates would be expanded to benefit more needy people. The organisation will also spend Rs2 crore as Ramadan relief for the welfare of poor people in the coastal and hilly areas of Kerala,” said Naha.

PMA Rasheed

8 June 2012


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