On this historic occasion of the 25th anniversary of Indian association, UAQ it would be worthwhile to take a brief glimpse at the humble beginning of our association. In 1977, the first time I visited peninsula Umm Al Quwain (Mother of beaches I found a place tranquil, gorgeous, a haven away from the busy city life of Dubai and Abudhabi. Most of the people settled here at the time were employed with the ministries and government departments. The Indian community then spent their weekends indoors or was limited to a trip to Sharjah or Dubai. There was no political or regional mushroom organization to cater to them at that time. At one point of time, the only entertainment were the regional films exhibited in U A Q s open air theatre. Friends usually gathered at their homes to celebrate and exchange their views only on occasions like Eid, Onam & Christmas. These were the only moments for people to gather together and exchange their views. The IAU is indebted to only one person, Late Mr. C Ashok Kumar as we all know it was his vision and effort that enabled the formation of such an association in this Emirate.
Earlier the only place for evening gatherings was Bin Zayed Corp. the work place of Late Mr. C Ashok Kumar. After meeting the office bearers of the associations that existed in Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Dubai, & Abudhabi we have inspired to have one of our own. We began to hold meetings to find out the possibility for the same. Unfortunately at that time the existing situation was not in our favor. However Mr. P M Jacob, former president of the Indian social centre, Abudhabi who visited frequently continued to inspire us to never let go of our dream, the dream of having our own association in UAQ. On the suggestion of a group of friends from Abudhabi a drama was staged, which attracted a crowd that would later help us capitalize in forming an association of our own. Accordingly in 1978, Late Mr. Ashok Kumar and I decided to stage Mappu a Malayalam drama by satkala theaters, Abudhabi for the first time in UAQs open air theatres. Though the programme was a success that incurred great financial losses for us. However this did not discourage us and we concerted our efforts for the next two years.
Later late Mr. C Ashok Kumar & I met the then deputy ruler, His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Moalla, Ruler of UAQ & Supreme Council Member of UAE, to submit an application to form the association of our dreams. His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Moalla was kind enough to sanction permission and issue the Decree to form an association for the Indian community in UAQ the very next day. Encouraged by this gesture a meeting was convened at the residence of Mr. Thomson Pallathu. It was here in the presence of 19 people who came from different parts of Kerala that we decided to form an association. While some are not with us anymore, some left U A E for good. In June 1980, Adv.Thomas Panicker , former president of the Indian association, Sharjah inaugurated the Kerala Samajam in the presence of Adv. George Varghese former secretary of I A S. The first elected office bearers of the association for the year 1980-81 were Mr. Kurien K Philips (president), Late Mr. C Ashok Kumar(Gen Secretary) & Mr Ibrahim Ahmed (treasurer). An eventful year passed by smoothly filled with a variety of weekly activities. These included screening of Malayalam films on VHS, Get-together and games.
The office bearers of 1981-82 included Mr. Kurien K.Philips (president), Mr. Raveendran (Gen Secretary) & Mr. T. K. S Nair (treasurer) However it was not feasible to run the association on subscription alone the brunt of the financial constraints began to become apparent with time. Much to our relief people associated with the association began to generously contribute to the day-today activities. Some of them even came forward and contributed the amount they received by donating blood. At this juncture Late Mr. R. V. Nair, son of former Kerala minister vaikkam velappan, the force behind the association suggested that we could extend our wings & accommodate more people by changing the name of the association to Indian association. As this idea was acceptable to all the name of the association was changed to Indian association UAQ.
The new office bearers were elected in October 1981 with late Mr. R. V. Nair. (President)Mr. Kurien K Phillips (gen secretary) & Mr. Mohd Akbar (treasurer). These office bearers continued to hold office till the end of 1982. A constitution for the association was drafted at this time. The association grew in all spheres of community services. A ladies wing was also formed with Elizabeth Cherian (president), Mrs. R.V. Nair (secretary), &Mrs. Annama Mathew (treasurer). The office bearers for 1983 included Mr. Kurien K Phillips (president), Mr. Thomas Muruppel (gen secretary) & Mr. Akbar. It was at this time that Late Mr. R. V. Nair decided to leave UAE for good. The association arranged a warm that was well attended by many dignitaries like consul general of India and presidents of different associations. The pioneering work and able guidance of Mr. Nair will ever be remembered by the association. Another milestone in 1983 was when the association shifted its present spacious location. A lot of members went out of their way to help in the shifting. Mr.jaisingh narayan (president)and Mr. MC Mathew (gen. secretary) were the office bearers for the year 1984-85 by the constant effort of the office bearers the consular service was extended to IAU which was a key contribution to the residents.
The associations stride from strength to strength was a net result of its significant contributions to the Indian community. The association extended its wings and established Its identity among the other Indian organizations in UAE. The success of the association has always been because of the support and the co-operation received from our members. As a mark of respect and honor we bow our heads, for all the members associated from the day of the association’s inception till date. Once again let us thank the almighty for all his abundant blessings. I express a final word of gratitude to all the office bearers and managing committee members of their dynamic leadership and guidance and I wish all success to IAU its Endeavour to fulfil the aspirations of its founders.