Thousands of Dubai Metro users took the stairs to help raise funds for Charitable Steps, an initiative launched by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Monday at the BurJuman Metro Station.
For every commuter who has taken the stairs, instead of the lift or escalator, the RTA has earmarked Dh1 each, which will go to a charitable institution. The volunteers were not required to shell out any money but the RTA paid on their behalf. As at 7pm on Monday, more than 10,000 commuters climbed the 50-step stairs.
Friends Rahul Muthar, 23; Prannoy Das, 23; and Gargi Vyash, 22, praised the initiative and called it as "a step in the right direction to encourage more people to live healthy and at the same time contribute to charity". "It encourages people to become active for a good cause," Muthar told Khaleej Times.
Mother and daughter Fensy and Neha Ajith, who live in Mankhool area, said 'Charitable Steps' is a good follow-up to the recently concluded Dubai 30X30 Fitness Challenge. "And it's not just for healthy living but for charity as well. We just came from St. Mary's Church and as today is Christmas day, this (initiative) is a small but good way to express giving," Fensy said.
Even four-year-old Liya made her little steps count in a big way. Held in hand by her parents, Prasanth and Sajisha, she took the 50 steps going up the stairs and at the top, a notice was posted at a screen thanking the three of them for their donation.
Filipino expats Marlon Tabangcura and Marlon Jafiliya were also inspired to take the stairs after reading a poster at the foot of the stairs encouraging them to contribute for charity.
A sensor was placed at the first step of the stairs to count the commuters going up. 'Charitable Steps' was pilot tested only at the BurJuman station, where more than 30,000 commuters use the Metro every day, but one or two more stations will be added early next year when the initiative will go full blast, according to the RTA.
The money will be donated by the RTA to a charitable institution which will be identified with the help of the Beit Al Khair and the Dar Al Ber Society, Charitable Steps is one of the RTA's seven programmes for 2017's Year of Giving that will be scaled up for next year's declaration of Year of Zayed.
Small steps towards good
What could have been a better way to cap the Year of Giving than taking a few steps for charity? The RTA's latest initiative has motivated people to step up for good health and partake in a noble cause. As the year ends, campaigns such as this will remind us of the good that we did for ourselves and for others in need. Way to go!
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