Sharjah students' medicine campaign for Emirates Red Crescent
When Ramadan began in June, schoolpupils Arushi Madan and Khyati Saxena wanted to do something that would benefit both the environment and the underprivileged.
They launched A Dose of Help, a month-long campaign to collect unused, unopened over-the-counter medicine that was within a year of expiry to donate to the Emirates Red Crescent in Sharjah.
“We truly believe that we can all make a difference. Each one of us, our small efforts together, combined, would have a huge impact on the environment and the lives of the poor,” said Arush, 16, who is in Grade 12 at Delhi Private School Sharjah.
“We collected medicine that would have otherwise stayed in our homes, expired and been sent to landfills. We reduced the amount of waste while helping the poor.”
By putting up posters at residential buildings, visiting medical clinics, pharmacies and getting the word out on social media, Arushi and Khyati succeeded in collecting more than 1,000 units of medicine.
Arushi said about 90 families, mostly relatives of members of the Students for the Earth group, of which she is president, donated to the cause.
“We got an outstanding response from pharmacies and clinics, which we hadn’t expected,” said Arushi. “All of this is valuable. It was a very overwhelming response.”
Walid Shabaan, manager of the Emirates Red Crescent charity medical centre in Sharjah, said he was thrilled when the youngsters contacted him to say they wanted to help collect medicine.
“There is a very big need,” said Mr Shabaan. “It’s issued to those who really need it, who can not afford the price of medicine. It’s very useful for us, for the Red Crescent.”
The centre opened in 2008 to address the needs of residents who cannot afford medical care. Last year, about 38,000 people sought its assistance.
Anyone wishing to give unused, unopened medicine that is within six months of expiry, can make a drop-off at any Emirates Red Crescent office or call their customer service number 800-733 to arrange a pickup of large donations.