Firoz Merchant, an Indian businessman in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who has spent over USD 4 million to help free prisoners languishing in jails due to non-payment of debts, has been honoured with UAE’s prestigious Community Service Medal.
Firoz Merchant’s efforts:
UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the UAE, Lt General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, honoured Indian businessman and philanthropist Firoz Merchant with the Community Service Medal on Augsut 7, 2017.
- The award, which is given in the form of a medal, was given to Merchant in recognition of his efforts to serve the community in the country and beyond.
- Since 2008, Firoz Merchant, founder and chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, has spent Dirham 15 million (USD 4.08 million) in paying off the debts of 10,940 prisoners languishing in UAE’s jails due to non-payment of debts.
- The prisoners belong to all faiths and nationalities and were in jail because of their inability to clear debts even though they have completed their jail terms.
- Firoz Merchant Merchant said, he is helping those who are the victims of circumstances. He stated “These people (prisoners) are not criminals. They are in jail because they unfortunately accumulated debt and have not been able to clear them.”
- This is the first time any expatriate community member has been given this prestigious award.
- Besides, UAE Government has assured Mr. Merchant, to provide all necessary cooperation for this cause as and when required.
Quick Facts about United Arab Emirates (UAE):
- Capital: Abu Dhabi
- Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
- Current President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan