UAE’s citizens of change are celebrated at Dubai awards event

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  • Winner of CITIZEN’s “Better Starts Now” competition Shobhika Kalra received AED 25,000 for ‘Wings of Angelz’
  • The “Better Starts Now” initiative attracted hundreds of entries through social and traditional media
  • The campaign highlighted the multitudes of UAE individuals committed to carrying out good deeds and making positive change

Citizens of the UAE who have shown indomitable spirit and determination either founding or benefiting a wealth of charities and causes, were celebrated at CITIZEN’s Better Starts Now Awards event.
The Japanese watch brand launched a campaign to mark its one hundredth year of ambitious watch-making at the end of 2018. It involved seeking out those members of the public who exemplify its “Better Starts Now” philosophy, a belief that there should always be an endeavor to improve the world we inhabit. CITIZEN can lay claim to many driven and pioneering feats, including being the first watch company to introduce light powered and satellite technology. Its latest innovation is the most precise light-powered watch in the world, with an annual accuracy of one second.
The Better Starts Now awards event saw ten deserving finalists who had entered the competition come together to have their compelling and uplifting stories told to guests, judges and CITIZEN’s management, before a winner was announced. The finalists comprised:

 Najeeb Mohammed Ismail, founder of Good Deeds ISER, an environmental campaigner, who for 15 years has raised awareness about damage to the environment and encouraged the local population to dispose of rubbish responsibly
 Manmeet Singh, a bakery Founder who provides UAE workers with cakes to mark their birthday
 Nicole Fiorentino, a dyslexic who established Widad Centre to help children who have been asked to leave main-stream schooling due to learning difficulties
 Shreya Maheshwari, founder of Arunoday, a foundation that educates underprivileged children, and also a mental health coach
 Riva Tuple, a social entrepreneur who is saving lives in rural India by educating women and children about menstrual hygiene
 Nandini Garg, founder of Charitree, an initiative which sells pencils comprised of recycled paper and a seed for planting, the profits being used to support the Ramadan Sharing Fridge initiative and other causes
 Corazon Verana Tarcena, a Filipina who fund-raises in order to send clothes and computers to the underprivileged in her home country
 Sabine Nehme, founder of inspirational parenting advice blog and TV show, MothertoAnother
 Shobhika Kalra, founder of Wings of Angelz, an organization working to bring wheelchair access to people of determination in the UAE and across the world
 Saeed Shaqsi, founder of Dubai-based Hope Volunteering Initiative, providing humanitarian aid to those in need, including poor communities of Africa.
The winner, Shobhika Kalra, was presented with a prize of AED 25,000 for her cause, ‘Wings of Angels’ – a CDA licensed nonprofit entity that aims to make the world more wheelchair accessible, one ramp at a time. Shobhika intends to utilise the funds to launch an app to build a database of places that require ramps.
CITIZEN’s General Manager (Middle East) Keiji Kato commented: “The Better Starts Now campaign believes that no matter who you are or what you do it’s always possible to make something better, and now it the time to start doing it. The campaign attracted a fantastic response from many people representing many nationalities and backgrounds, all of whom had put our philosophy into practice. Meeting them and listening to their individual stories has been incredibly inspirational, and we are very pleased to be supporting the winner, Shobhika Kalra with their very worthy cause.”

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