Indian businessman donates Rs 2.5 crore to free 900 prisoners in UAE

Dubai-based Indian businessman Firoz Merchant has donated 1 million dirham (Rs 2.5 core) to free 900 prisoners in the UAE. He has also paid their debts and airfares for their return home.
Indian businessman donates Rs 2.5 crore to free 900 prisoners in UAE
Jaano Junction

An Indian businessman and philanthropist donated 1 million dirhams (approximately Rs 2.5 crore) to secure the release of 900 prisoners from jails across the Gulf nation since the beginning of 2024. He aims to get 3,000 prisoners released this year.

Firoz Merchant, 66, owner of Pure Gold Jewellers, donated 1 million dirhams to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities. He is based in Dubai.

This is a message of humility, humanity, forgiveness and kindness ahead of Ramzan, Firoz Merchant's office said.

"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 the statement from his office.

Merchant, known for his 'The Forgotten Society' initiative, has already facilitated the release of 900 prisoners since the beginning of 2024.

This included 495 prisoners from Ajman, 170 prisoners from Fujairah, 121 prisoners from Dubai, 69 prisoners from Umm Al Quwain, and 28 from Ras Al Khaimah, according to Maagulf news portal.

Merchant also paid their debts and provided airfare for them to return home, aiming to reunite families and offer a second shot at life, according to Maagulf, an online news portal for the Telugu community residing in the Gulf.

His goal for 2024 is to help over 3,000 prisoners go free.

In conjunction with the Director Generals of Police at the Central Jails across the UAE, Merchant's initiative has helped over 20,000 prisoners over the years, earning him accolades from government officials and prisoners alike.

"I am grateful for the collaboration with the government. The Forgotten Society believes that humanity knows no borders, and we work together to offer these individuals the chance to reconcile with their families and communities," said Merchant.

Colonel Mohammed Yusuf Al-Matrooshi, a UAE official, commended Merchant's dedication to prisoner rehabilitation.

"He has helped countless individuals, and his quiet generosity offers genuine hope to those struggling to pay their fines," Al-Matrooshi said.

Source: India Today

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