If prayers were gems and jewels, Saher Shaikh would be bejeweled forever. The altruistic Saher Shaikh who spearheaded Adopt a Camp, lights up the lives of the labour wealth of the UAE by empowering them and they in turn shower her with love and affection. She exemplifies the yellow sapphire, a gemstone known for its altruistic qualities and generosity and is aptly chosen as one of the Navratnas by Gehna Jewellery Boutique Dubai and acknowledged by Femina Middle East for being Unstoppable. Manju Ramanan speaks to the compassionate mother of three
How did you start Adopt a Camp?
My family is into real estate business. It was my child’s birthday and I happen to be at a grocery and decided to treat a labourer who had just walked in. I asked him to pick up anything he fancied from the store and all he did was pick up a bottle of strawberry milk. I was touched and intrigued by the lives of the people I didn’t quite
know then. When I went to visit them in their camp with my child, I was showered with love. As I was driving away, I realized that I was going back to my perfect life and they were still there. Adopt a Camp happened from there. Today we have adopted 57,000 labourers across nationalities but mostly Indians, Pakistanis, some Nepalese and Egyptians.
How do you identify with the jewellery piece you are wearing?
Yellow sapphire interestingly comes from the mines of Afghanistan and I am half Afghani and as soon as Kanan Naheta who owns Gehna Jewellery Boutique put the piece on me, I had this feeling of nobility. They don’t just touch your body, they touch your soul. The work on it is called Laldi and since they resonate of my roots I love them. Also the qualities of the yellow sapphire are wealth, good health, name, honour and fame – and signifies knowledge and spiritual expansion. In every way this piece is meaningful. God has blessed me with all this in the shape of my incredible husband.
What has been your association with brand Femina?
It is an iconic magazine. Femina –the name itself lends itself to so many memories of women of substance. It clearly leads the way. It doesn’t celebrate women as mere accessories but strong individuals in their own right. I am so glad it is in the Middle East extending its reach and influence here too.
What makes you Unstoppable?
If you want something, go for it. You don’t need to worry about how. Dance to your own beat, follow your heart. That will make you unstoppable!
Photograph by: Sarfaraz Ali Photography