Riyadh – Indian community members from the state of Jharkhand in Riyadh met on Friday to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day with great fervor under the banner of Global Jharkhand Welfare Association (GJWA).
The evening was organized to pay tribute to the blessed country that has become a second home for many expats and has provided means of lively hood in a peaceful and safe country of Saudi Arabia. The event was also symbolic this year as India celebrates 75 years of India–Saudi bilateral relations and the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ together with the Indian missions.
The love for the host country and a second home was evident among the jubilant crowd of Indian diaspora reflected in the cheers of children as they waved the green and white balloons dressed in the symbolic green color for the special day.
Chief Guest of the event Zeenat Jaffery, a Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awardee, and Founder & Principal of International Indian School, Riyadh (IISR) said that, “when a social organization is formed, initially it is faced with many challenges and obstacles. I am happy to know that in a very short period of time and particularly during the challenging COVID-19 circumstance between 2019-2021, this organization with very dedicated and respected individuals coming from various fields have joined hands to help the needs of the society”.
Shahzeen Eram, Founder & President of Global Jharkhand Welfare Association (GJWA), Riyadh said, “Indian communities must come together as one united force to heal humanity. Effective social work is a responsibility of all individuals particularly in the present situation where millions have been affected due to the corona pandemic. As we come together on this auspicious day in the blessed land of Saudi Arabia, we must remember that this service to humanity is taught by our generous ‘Deen’ religion and is engrained in our cultures”.
She further encouraged the community members to come forward, join hands to strengthen the organization and participate in social work for larger good.
Saudi National Madame Hissa Bin Gassim was received as the Guest of Honor by the ladies of the GJWA families. Madame Hissa appreciated the volunteer works undertaken by GJWA during the challenging corona phase.
Shahzeen expressed her gratitude on behalf of members to the Saudi government, and the able and benevolent leadership of His Highness King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on the auspicious occasion.
GJWA is a nonprofit civic organization represented by Indian expatriates belonging to the eastern state of Jharkhand in India. It was formed in November, 2019 to bring the people of Jharkhand, a small community residing in Saudi Arabia, on one platform during the pandemic to provide required assistance.
GJWA Co-founder Dr. Tanweer Alam, Physician with the Ministry of Health, expressed that the aim of GJWA is to connect people of home state Jharkhand and nurture Jharkhand community in Saudi Arabia and back home, to serve humanity at large. He also explained the value of unity and importance of education in the modern world.
He expressed his gratitude to the community members for their active participation in all social initiatives undertaken by GJWA since its inception in the year 2019.
In her keynote address, Shahzeen Eram said, GJWA represents a small community of expats working in the gulf countries who have made the state proud with their dedicated hardwork and industrial acumen.
Shahzeen Eram is the first woman president of an Indian state association in Saudi Arabia. She is also one of the renowned Indian woman journalist working in Saudi Arabia recognized for her social activism.
Shahzeen highlighted the social volunteer initiatives undertaken by the organization to promote awareness and provide relief assistance.
“GJWA has helped in the repatriation of Indian workers under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ last year during COVID-19, under Indian mission. We also, accumulated the number of persons who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 from our state, registered at the Indian mission in Riyadh”, Shahzeen added.
GJWA volunteers back home diligently served during the Ramadan food kit and Eid-Kit distribution drive to the most needy families during complete COVID lockdown.
Blanket-distribution drive during the cold winters among the most needy was carried out with complete devotion. Also, stationary and school items were distributed among village children near Jamshedpur by GJWA volunteers together with NCC cadets of Karim City College.
In a short span of time and under one of the most difficult situations, of the lockdown in both countries, GJWA has strived to diligently be in service to humanity.
In December, 2020 a lively mushaira and barbeque night was conducted that connected the community in stronger bonds. It was attended by renowned Indian poets, media representatives and embassy officials apart from Jharkhand community members.
The state of Jharkhand (in Eastern India) was previously a part of Bihar and was formed in the year 2000. Jharkhand popularly known as the land of forests and waterfalls, where 40% of India’s mineral resources come from the state of Jharkhand, yet 39% of its population lives below the poverty line.
Thus, there is immense need for social work to uplift the masses through education and healthcare. “We must continue our strive to assist our communities in their trials”, Shahzeen said.
Md. Atique Alam, a prominent executive proposed the vote of thanks.
Razi Ahmed, Md. Shahid Khan , Shahnawaz Alam , Dr. Masood , Md. Atique Alam, Dr. Afzal Haider, Dr. Obaidur Rahman, Dr. Khatib, Md. Imtiyaz , Md. Haseeb, Rashid, Imtiyaz Khan, Shahid Mustafa Khan and other community members from the state of Jharkhand together with their families attended the celebrations.
The evening was followed by a gala dinner.