UAE: Indian, Pakistani students team up to help orphans, labourers

Last updated on May 12, 2021 at 03.17 pm

Two pupils from Abu Dhabi are using three-dimensional (3D) design to provide essential resources and supplies to orphans, labourers and people of determination in different countries including the UAE, India, Pakistan, USA and Egypt.

Advait Arya and Muhammad Zuhair Khan, both aged 16 years, and students of Raha International School, Abu Dhabi, started an initiative called "Defy" two years ago to provide essential resources and supplies to aid the needy.

Arya and Khan, who are Grade XI pupils and belong to India and Pakistan and live at Al Maqta and Khalifa City areas in Abu Dhabi, respectively, maintained that they come from impoverished South Asian countries where people find it hard to afford two square meals a day.

“We’re privileged individuals living in the UAE and were inspired to initiate philanthropic work using our skills of 3D designing and collaborate with a network of volunteers,” Arya told Khaleej Times.

“Besides, my parents have taught me to be selfless and have always supported me in all my initiatives," he said.

The teenagers said that initially, they were only looking to make an impact within their community in the UAE and took baby steps such as putting together a team and providing for labourers.

“However, later, we realised the project's potential, as it can influence the lives of underprivileged and impoverished people on a global scale. As a result, we decided to start an organisation that would operate in various countries including the UAE, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and the US. As privileged students, we strive to provide better living and working conditions for those in dire need of them,” said Khan.

Defy has cobbled together over 100 volunteers across the world.

Defy’s initiatives

The outreach has gone beyond distributing food and sanitary supplies to the underprivileged and has implemented several projects to date.

“For instance, the water filtration project in rural parts of Karachi in Pakistan. This was a four-month assignment. Defy created a 3D design of the water filtration system that works like a water pump. Multiple parts and features on the 3D designing software like spline and extrude were used to ensure that it would work. Later, the water was tested by a company to ensure the quality of the water,” Arya said.

He said that with the funds received from Aquaholic Creative Solution LLC, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, volunteers in Pakistan were able to assemble the filtration mechanism and provide fresh and potable water to people living in rural parts of Karachi.

Arya and Khan have also partnered with an Indian company, Chandra Engineering and Mechanical Works, to print parts of the 3D designs and assemble them together.

Defy also donated a new machine to the Antharbhaava Foundation, an organisation that supports people with determination in India. Defy volunteers also worked with the organisation to raise their efficiency quotient.

So far, the teenagers have raised over Dh84,000 from various companies around the world and have touched the lives of over 1,000 orphans, labourers, and people of determination in five countries.

Ismail Sebugwaawo A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.