Muscat: More than 500 labourers will be provided free food by the Malayalam Wing of the Indian Social Club (ISC), Oman, during Onam celebrations this September.
With this year’s Onam celebrations being spread across three days—September 21, 22 and 23—one session will be open only to labourers, who work tirelessly to develop the Sultanate.
“We are planning an Onam feast for about 3,000 people this time,” said Unnikrishnan Nair, co-convener for the ISC’s Malayalam Wing. “Normally, we have about 550 people in one session, and one of these will be for labourers alone. For us, it is not a question of the money involved in making this food, because we receive plenty of donations from our members and our sponsors.
“We are currently making arrangements for the same, and we hope to see around 550 labourers on the day in question,” he added.
“Any labourer is welcome to come and join our Onam celebration on that day, because food is a gift from God, and we cannot deny this to anyone. I want to thank all of our sponsors and members for their help in making this possible.”
This Onam initiative is one of three social endeavours recently announced by the ISC’s Malayalam Wing. In addition to setting up a library for members to broaden their knowledge and reading skills, ISC is also currently organising a campaign among schoolchildren, which will see them collect and donate bottles of laban among the labourers who work at construction sites.
Their first such initiative took place earlier this year, and another is being planned in the near future.
“This was the idea of one of the school teachers who is a member,” recalled Nair while speaking to the Times of Oman. “About 70 schoolchildren went to construction sites in Muscat and distributed bottles of laban to around 300 labourers and construction workers.”
“They were split into different groups and were sent to different construction sites, some went to Wadi Kabir, others went to Muttrah, a few of them went to Muscat, and so on,” he added. “The idea of this was to teach children about the importance of caring for others, and to put their lives in perspective.”
“The children who live here may not know about the lives these labourers lead, and we need to show them that so that they know how fortunate they are,” said Nair. “We have a responsibility towards teaching the next generation proper values and the importance of kindness and consideration towards others.”
This drive from the Malayalam wing was a unanimous success the last time around, and preparations are currently underway to organise another event.