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Business News/ News / Indian philanthropist Firoz Merchant donates 2.25 crore to free 900 prisoners in the UAE
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Indian philanthropist Firoz Merchant donates ₹2.25 crore to free 900 prisoners in the UAE

Firoz Merchant says he began this mission keeping in mind the priority the UAE gives to tolerance to give a second chance for them to be reunited with their families

Dubai-based Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant of Pure Gold has donated close to ₹2.25 CroresPremium
Dubai-based Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant of Pure Gold has donated close to 2.25 Crores

In a pre-Ramzan gesture, a UAE-based Indian businessman and philanthropist has donated 1 million dirhams (approximately INR 2.5 crore) to ensure the release of 900 prisoners from jails across the Gulf nation. Firoz Merchant, 66, who is the owner of Pure Gold Jewellers, donated the money to the UAE authorities, a testament to the holy month’s message of humility, humanity, forgiveness, and kindness.

"Prominent Dubai-based Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant of Pure Gold has donated close to 2.25 Crores (AED 1 million) to ensure the release of 900 prisoners from jails across the Arabian nation," said a statement from his office.

Under the aegis of The Forgotten Society initiative founded in 2008, Merchant has already been instrumental in obtaining the release of 900 prisoners across the UAE since the beginning of 2024, including 495 prisoners from Ajman, 170 prisoners from Fujairah, 121 prisoners from Dubai, 69 prisoners from Umm Al Quwain and 28 from Ras Al Khaimah.

In conjunction with the Director Generals of Police at the Central Jails across the UAE, Merchant has already succeeded in obtaining the release of over 20,000 prisoners over the years from a wide range of denominations, nationalities, and religions.

He gets their debt paid and donates funds for their air tickets to fly back to their home country.

Merchant says he began this mission keeping in mind the priority the UAE gives to tolerance to give a second chance for them to be reunited with their families.

He aims to facilitate the release of more than 3,000 prisoners in 2024. Merchant’s helping hand has been recognised by the rulers, also his kindness, forgiveness and generosity have earned him accolades from senior government officials across the UAE.

"I am very fortunate to affiliate with the government authorities. The Forgotten Society initiative is based on the premise that humanity transcends borders. We work together to provide them with the possibility to reconcile with their family in their home country and society," Merchant said.

Colonel Mohammed Yusuf Al-Matrooshi, Deputy Director of the General Administration of Punitive and Correctional Establishments, Ajman, said that it is rare to see such commitment and concern towards the rehabilitation of prisoners by giving them a helping hand.

“So many thousands owe him a debt of gratitude and what makes it so impressive is the quiet and discreet manner in which he sets about doing so much good work and providing genuine hope to those who might be languishing behind bars because they cannot pay their fines," Al-Matrooshi said.

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Published: 26 Feb 2024, 08:50 PM IST
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