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Posted On: 16 August 2009 10:49 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Rich citizens spend huge sum for Ramadan charity

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There are a number of cash-rich citizens who spend lavishly on feeding the poor, including families and individuals, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, especially. Informed sources in charitable organisations say that during the fasting month they frequently have surprise visitors to their ‘Iftar’ (mass fast-breaking feasts) tents who declare they would like to sponsor the entire feast daily during Ramadan. “A day’s expenses sometimes reach up to QR20,000 if the tent is huge but there are people who volunteer to pay cash not only for a day but for the entire month of Ramadan,” a source said in remarks to this newspaper. Officials of a major shopping outlet, meanwhile, say for a number of years they have been selling coupons of QR250, QR350 and QR500 each during the fasting month, which cash-rich nationals buy to distribute to needy families and sometimes to individuals as well. “But they tell us strictly that no beneficiary (of these coupons) should ever be allowed to buy anything other than food items,” said an official of the outlet asking not to be named. This generous lot of people was earlier buying food items like rice, wheat flour, sugar, edible oil, butter and milk, among other things, in bulk and was supplying to needy families during the holy month. They used to themselves carry these items in their cars and distribute them. But the trend gradually faded away with some of the benefactors realizing that they were actually dumping food stocks with a select few families and they already had some of those items in adequate quantities donated by other philanthropists. These benefactors then began buying coupons to distribute to the needy so the latter could procure items they were in need of. According to sources, there are nationals who buy as many as 400 to 500 coupons of QR500 each for distribution to the needy in the holy month. The validity of these coupons is two months. There are at least one citizen who comes to this outlet daily during the fasting month and buys 400 packets of 1,200 gram frozen chicken to prepare ‘haris’ and ‘majboos’ at home. His cooks prepare these Ramadan-specific dishes and he then carries them in his car on and distributes to people all over later each evening throughout Ramadan