Free Vishu meals for 1,000 people in Dubai



As Keralites in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) marked a low-key celebration of their harvest festival Vishu on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, a community initiative will hand out the traditional vegetarian feast called 'sadhya' for free to 1,000 people in Dubai.

Kits carrying the free 'sadhya' can be taken away by those in need from the Uppum Mulakum restaurant in Karama from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m,, the owner of the eatery Shanavas Mohammed said.

"Though it is a Hindu festival, we Malayalis celebrate Vishu, just like we celebrate Onam irrespective of our religion. During this difficult time, we don't want anyone to miss the Vishu 'sadhya'. Keralites or not, anyone who is in need can come and collect the kit."

He said the free meal was not just his individual initiative, adding that "it is a community initiative".

The restaurant has served more than 4,000 meals through the free lunch initiative it started during the sterilization drive in Dubai, said Shanavas.

"These came along with most of the vegetables used in preparing the Kani and Vishu 'sadhya' and the banana leaves on which the feast is served. All these came on the six aircraft we chartered to import vegetables from Kerala in the past two days," V. Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer, Lulu Group said.