"When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together." - Confucius
Scientific research illustrates that philanthropy is beneficial for both, the giver and the receiver as far as their well-being is concerned. According to researchers, philanthropy contributes to various positive effects such as lowered stress levels and an increased overall happiness. Not only this, but it also has the ability to change the world. There are a number of reasons why it is important. It strengthens the community, helps one network, benefits one's physical and mental health, enables one to learn more about the world, and is good for business. Philanthropists have always served as important members of society. A number of them exist all over the globe in today's world as well and Firoz merchant is one of them.
Born in India in 1958, Firoz Merchant is a philanthropist and an Emirati businessman. Merchant is the Chairman and founder of Pure Gold Group that comprises of Pure Gold Jewelers, FGM Holding, La Moda, Pure Gold Real Estate Development, and Pure Gold Manufacturing. His family comprises his three sisters and five brothers, with his father being a real estate broker, and his mother being a housewife. Merchant's hobby is horse riding and does that in leisure hours.
Merchant grew up in an Indian family that earned modestly and from a very young age, from when he was eleven years old, he started supporting his father to run the business and so discontinued his education. Things changed rapidly for Merchant after he got married to his wife Rozina, and when he visited Dubai for honeymoon. It was here, in Dubai, that he was fascinated with the Dubai Gold Souk and when he experienced a connection with the gold trade and the country. The change took place when, after leaving Dubai, he expressed the wish to move to Dubai and give gold business a try. It was in the year 1989 that Merchant eventually moved to Dubai to set up his diamond and gold trading business, known as Pure Gold Jewelers.
As can be seen from the life that Merchant has lived, he has earned success in a hard way. He was only eleven when he entered professional life. However, what has made him standout are the philanthropic activities he has taken part in. For instance, he has received the "Community Service Medal & Award" from Lt. General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The award certifies all the philanthropic work Merchant has done in his life. He has participated in activities that have offered support and help for a number of communities. Not only this, but he has also donated a great deal towards correctional institutions so as to release prisoners of different nationalities jailed in the UAE. Furthermore, Merchant has also announced that he would spend almost 1 million US dollars (3.8 million dirhams) to rescue prisoners who haven't been able to come out because of non-payment of debts.
Giving has always helped people live longer by making them feel happy. Research shows that philanthropic and charitable acts are beneficial to the well-being of those who take part in such activities. One way in which philanthropy benefits people's health is by reducing people's stress levels. Philanthropy is a positive way to deal with what one is feeling. It helps shift focus to helping others so that one only focuses on that. Not only this, but philanthropic acts also release feel good chemicals that boost positivity and happiness. The reason why people like Merchant even take part in philanthropic activities is because philanthropy is beneficial for the human well-being. This is one reason why merchants kept giving and never stopped.
In the year 2017, Merchant signed a memorandum with the UAE's Faraj Fund. Not only this, but he also offered financial aid to Ajman Police to help treat a policeman suffering from a neurological disorder. In the following year, 2018, Merchant also signed an agreement to offer scholarships to five needy Emirati female undergraduate students studying in the University of Fujairah.
After looking at the life that the Emirati businessman has lived, anyone can easily notice how his former identity was more associated with hard work and struggle, and how his latter identity is more associated with philanthropic activities. Known for paying prisoners debts, Merchant has been recognized as a member of the 'We Are All Police' initiative carried out by Abu Dhabi Police. According to him, "it is an important social responsibility to help various segments of the society and strengthen the police's efforts in humanitarian and social aspects," and "It is crucial to release debt-ridden prisoners, ensure their arrival in the countries of their origin and reunification with their families so that they have a second chance at life." In a nutshell, philanthropy has led Merchant to success like none other.