View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan Reflection on Building for the Homeless

Ramadan is a time for reaching out to others and Indian newspapers are reporting today the outworking of the Ramadan spirit.

A leading United Arab Emirates real estate developer will be building houses for the homeless in India and three other countries in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The Dubai-based ETA Star signed an agreement Sunday with US-based not-for-profit organisation Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI).

ETA Star is being partnered by its new development Dubai Lifestyle City, home furnishing chain Homes r Us and cement manufacturer Star Cement.

The property developer will donate one percent of its total earnings during Ramadan towards building homes for the destitute in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, according to the agreement. “The holy month of Ramadan is considered the time for giving, helping the needy,” Abid Junaid, executive director of ETA Star, said while announcing the initiative at a press conference here. “There certainly would be no better way than to help provide shelters to those underprivileged for which the sky is the only roof they can call their own,” he added.

According to Rick Hathway, area vice-president for Asia-Pacific at HFHI, the ETA Star contribution will be used in two projects in Delhi and Maharashtra. “Around 1,000 families will benefit from this,” he said. HFHI India managing director Felix Fernandes added that these projects would come up in a slum area on the outskirts of Delhi and a tribal community in Maharashtra.

Each house HFHI builds in India costs around Rs.70, 000 to Rs.120, 000.

Source: UAE Developer to Build Homes for the Homeless in India, India Real Estate Tracker, 2 September 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Jimmy Carter, one of the many well-known identities, who are involved in building people’s lives.