Indian philanthropist gives back on birthday
DUBAI // A philanthropist who donated Dh71,000 to the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre to mark his 71st birthday had a new classroom named in his honour yesterday.
The Indian businessman Mohan Valrani, from Al Shirawi Group of Companies, celebrates his birthday today.
"With this donation, I want to be an example for the others in the community to do the same," he said at the opening ceremony. "The habit of giving is an addiction."
From next week, the Mohan Valrani Room will be used to prepare children with special needs for placement in senior schools. It can accommodate eight children between the ages of 10 and 13.
The centre plans to use any remaining money to buy computers, iPads and books for the pupils.
Areej Ehab Hassan, 13, is one of the pupils who will benefit from the new classroom.
With a broad smile on her face, Areej thanked Mr Valrani, saying: "I like my class, it is very good."
Roma Singh, a special educator at the school, said the children would also learn vocational skills. "They will also be taught reading, numeracy and science skills to ready them for an independent life," she said.
M K Lokesh, the Indian Ambassador, attended the opening ceremony. He said Mr Valrani's contribution boosted the image of Indian expatriates in the country. "Giving charity is in our tradition and, as many people in the community are doing well in their business activities, we encourage them to contribute to the welfare of the society."
Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre was established in 1994 to provide education and therapy to children with special needs.
It has 117 children enrolled in intervention programmes including speech and occupational therapy, physiotherapy and learning disability courses.
The head teacher Janette S Graham said many children at the centre were able to take on jobs when they were given the right sort of support.
"Here, we teach them office skills, organising themselves according to the work environment, the ability to get into a routine, self-discipline and how to act with adults," she said. "It is often a huge responsibility for companies to take these children on but they are definitely opening up to the idea."