Bharatbhai Shah among Pravasi Bharatiya Award recipients

Two UAE NRIs Bharatkumar Shah and Palorakunnummal Ashraf were among the 15 prominent persons who received India's Pravasi Bharatiya Award. Octogenarian Bharatkumar Shah who is fondly known as Bharatbhai is the chairman of Al Mustaneer Trading Company in Dubai. He is listed among the 100 Super Rich and 100 Most Powerful Indians in the region. He is described as an inspiration to all who think of giving up in the face of repeated failure, for his own story of hardship and suffering and remarkable example of rising up after every fall. Bharatbhai is an entrepreneur and philanthropist from Gujarat who after his initial years of struggle in Yemen landed a job as a clerk in a shipping firm in 1949 where a co-worker was the late industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. He later moved from Yemen to Saudi Arabia and then to the UAE where he rose to the top in retail and eventually launched his own business. He is a founding member of the Overseas Indians Economic Forum Dubai, and the Gujarati Samaj. He is currently the NRI Cell Convener of the Indian Business and Professional Council Sharjah. He has actively campaigned for the rights of Indian expatriates, particularly the underprivileged. He has also contributed in cementing the bond between the Indian and Emirati communities and boosting trade between the two countries. Mr Ashraf who runs a workshop in Ajman, has helped send home the dead bodies of people from over 35 countries, without receiving any payment for his service. He realised the plight of grieving families wishing to repatriate their loved one's bodies when 14 years ago he saw two young people crying over their father's body not knowing what to do to complete the required formalities. Since then he has spent days and nights supporting bereaved families by arranging the last journey of their loved ones. Mr Ashraf is already a recipient of recognition from various expatriate organisations. He inspired a book and a movie that is being made by famous writer/director TA Razak.