Dubai: A 34-year-old Indian expat, who started volunteering for community services in the United Arab Emirates in his twenties and is now about to move to another country, has expressed his gratitude for the opportunities he had to help people in distress.

Deepak Thomas, one of the few expats in his age group to devote time and effort to volunteering, received a warm farewell from the expat community in recognition of his service for 10 years, when he ” discreetly helped people in distress”.

A virtual farewell event organized by the volunteer community paid a rich tribute to Deepak Thomas this week.
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From mentally unstable and distressed youth and stranded residents to unemployed expats and families struggling financially, Thomas has helped transform the lives of many, community members said.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have received to help those in need. I am grateful to the high-level government officials and social workers under whose guidance I have been able to provide assistance to people in distress” , Thomas told Gulf News.

“More young people should volunteer. Most expatriate social workers and community volunteers in the UAE are over 50,” he said, adding that community service not only helps those in need, but also provides immense satisfaction to those Who serves.

“Charity is not just giving money, food or old clothes. It’s about putting your time, talent and effort into helping others,” said Thomas, a civil engineer from Kerala in India.

Thomas is also credited with encouraging people who have gone through a difficult situation in life to provide volunteer and counseling services.

“We have to motivate the children with charity work. They can create a directory based on blood types and maintain a list of approved charities and their provisions. All should be informed of the procedures to be followed in hospitals for the support of charities. »

Acknowledgments and Tributes

A project manager at a Dubai-based company, Thomas was showered with thanks and accolades for his community service before his migration to the UK.

A virtual farewell event was specially organized by a group of social workers and community volunteers from the United Arab Emirates and India for Thomas this week.

CP Mathew of the volunteer group Valley of Love (VoL) said: “Despite his busy corporate life, he and his wife Lynn Raju have spent all their free time in community service and volunteering, proving that no matter how no matter how busy we are with our jobs, we can still find time to share our talents to help others and bring them happiness. He is a wonderful example of the country’s young generation of community volunteers. I am sure he will continue this community work in his new life and we wish him much success and happiness.

Garth Mitchell, Community Lead Volunteer, said: “Noble souls like Deepak will be appreciated wherever they go. His departure may seem like a loss to the UAE, but I am sure his actions have inspired us all to continue supporting the government in voluntary work.

Deepa Kiron, who had worked with Deepak on a free repatriation project during the pandemic, said, “The free repatriation project was in full swing during the peak of COVID shutdowns. Within days, we were all convinced of the pace at which Deepak had impeccably organized the database of numerous requests.

She recalled how Thomas handled the repatriation of a medically unfit person with the utmost care and attention.

Another volunteer, Elizabeth Kuruvilla, said she first met Thomas during the pandemic. “He struck me as someone with a lot of energy, putting his technical skills to good use for a wonderful cause, never saying ‘no’ to any request.”

Also in attendance were a few recipients of Thomas’ community service. SM, whose family received help from the community and the authorities through Thomas and other volunteers, said: “A few years ago, when we didn’t have the necessary papers to going to school like everyone else, Brother Deepak and some volunteers came to us as a blessing. . They gave us all the resources to regularize our stay and get an education. And now, thanks to their encouragement, their motivation and their involvement in our education, we have passed our 10th and 12th grades successfully. Now we are preparing for further graduate studies.