- Firoz Merchant has pledged to pay off the debts of 132 prisoners.
- He says that the prisoners are not criminals but are a victim of circumstances.
- Merchant is also helping a police officer get treatment for his neurological disorder.
The Dubai-based Indian billionaire-Firoz Merchant-who donated $130,790 a year to fund the return tickets of expat prisoners who have been released from jails in the UAE is already an Internet sensation. However, he has won accolades for another reason. Being an Indian and a resident of UAE, he has vowed to help a cop from the Ajman police who is suffering from a neurological disorder.
Earlier, Firoz Merchant, a founder and chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers had signed a memorandum of understanding with UAE's Faraj Fund, which works toward the welfare of inmates in the country. With the intent to unite the released prisoners with their families back home, the businessman has vowed to provide $130,790 (Dh 480,000) a year to fund their air tickets. The fund will be given to inmates who cannot fund their return ticket home. Dh40,000 will be released monthly only when Faraj Fund submits a list of deported inmates. In fact, the businessman has paid off the debts of 132 prisoners, by paying off Dh 150,000. Mumbai-born Merchant believes, "These prisoners are victims of circumstances and are not real criminals. They are in jail because of debt."
Merchant has not stopped here. He is also funding the treatment of a police officer in Ajman Police who is suffering from a neurological disorder. An amount of Dh 60,000 shall be allocated for his Chinese acupuncture treatment in Jordan. Merchant says, "in unity with the Year of Giving initiative, we are working with the prison and law enforcement authorities to help insolvent prisoners; as well as members of the police force who work hard to ensure we continue to live in a secure and happy community."
Merchant was also named the philanthropist of the year at the Indian CEO Awards held at Conrad Hotel Dubai on 2 March 2016.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:54 PM IST