Indian social club in UAE turns 46

Abu Dhabi, April 7 (IANS) An Indian social club that started in a small building way back in 1967 is celebrating its 46th anniversary this year.

Considered the biggest Indian recreational club in the Middle East, the now worth 35-million dirham five-storey building houses the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), one of the oldest social clubs in the UAE capital, the Gulf News daily reported.

About 2,600 members of the centre and their families and friends celebrated the 46th anniversary at a ceremony recently.

A large number of people enjoyed a musical programme where famous South Indian singer Rimy Tomy and her team performed.

Several projects and programmes have been planned for this year, along with the establishment a kindergarten for the community, Thomas John, honorary president of the centre, told Gulf News.

The centre has taken this initiative considering the acute shortage of seats in Indian schools in the UAE capital.

The annual event “India Festival season-4” will be held Dec 5 to 7. The event will showcase India’s diverse cultural and culinary delights, apart from stalls selling different products.

Apart from organising socio-cultural events, the centre is extending help to the needy in the community, the honorary president said.

“We provided financial assistance to a community member who is undergoing a liver transplant surgery. A woman who went back home on the amnesty scheme but needed support to construct her own house was also given assistance recently,” he said.

When the centre was established in the late 1960s, it was the only venue for Indians to celebrate their festivals. Most of the members were employees of oil companies.

The facilities of the centre were limited. There were sandy volleyball and badminton courts, billiards and playing card rooms. But the present building has all kinds of sports and games facilities, and provisions for cultural and recreational use.

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