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Dubai's labourers get their chance to shine

Sunday, May 14, 2017/ Editor -  

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Smart Idol – empowering & changing lives

Dubai, May 14th 2017:  Dubai’s unsung heroes finally get the spotlight at Smart Idol, a competition organised to showcase the talents of emirate’s blue-collar labourers.

Organised by SmartLife, an NGO licensed by the Community Development Authority (CDA) -Dubai, Smart Idol takes place over 9 months, where more than 1500+ labourer’s from Dubai are auditioned from 15+ labour camps with their singing and dancing talents in the preliminary rounds.

A jury panel selects the top 15 talents, split between singing and dancing performances, who will then be trained and mentored by industry professionals to fine-tune their skills. Smart Idol winners and select finalists become part of SmartBand, which performs at corporate events. 

“Smart Idol affords our hard-working labourers a healthy break from work and gives them an opportunity to exhibit their talents and thereby enhance their own self-esteem,'' said Indrani Dasgupta, Project Lead, Smart Idol.

The NGO SmartLife has a variety of projects, each working towards enhancing the lives of Dubai's workers. Among these projects include SmartSapna, which offers scholarships for children of blue collar workers in Dubai and children studying in their home countries. SmartMeditation is a project that teaches yoga, meditation and breathing techniques with follow up sessions that keeps the practice a way of life. 

Other initiatives include SmartMedic, which offers periodic health check-ups and offers wellness activities for workers; as well as SmartCup is a cricket tournament where blue and white collar workers are part of the same team vying for the coveted trophy. SmartLife also has SmartReading, in line with the reading initiative of the government, which helps semi-literate workers to enjoy the pleasures of reading; while SmartSkills workshop engages with companies to offer training in diverse fields such as MEP, carpentry, painting and similar with the aim of improving productivity in existing employment. 

A project that runs through the holy month of Ramadan, SmartDistribution is an initiative that shares dry foods, hygiene products and other gifts from corporate and organizational benefactors.  SmartDistribution has been expanded to other times of the year, as and when sponsors are available. Other projects in the SmartLife pipeline are SmartWoman and SmartArt, scheduled to start this year.

“We have had many inspiring stories from our various projects. Previous winner Ejaaz Ahmed was a restaurant delivery boy who was spotted by a talent manager in the finale and has since gone on to sing for the region’s largest channel ZEE TV as a playback singer. He now sings professionally and is an inspiration to many. Another winner Biji Mol, who was a bus conductor at a local school in Dubai, has been actively performing at events around the region with the SmartBand and continues to strive for more opportunities. This year there are 18 more hopeful individuals who are getting a second chance to make a change,” added Indrani. 

The Smart Idol finale will take place on Friday 19th May 2017 at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Oud Metha Road, Bur-Dubai.


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