The coronavirus pandemic has led to job cuts across the globe and keeping that in mind, Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has offered free food at his restaurant in Lahore for the unemployed.
Dar, who has officiated in 386 international fixtures – the most by anyone – runs ‘Dar’s Delighto’, a restaurant in Lahore. And the veteran umpire has announced that people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 pandemic, can have their meals at his restaurant.
“I opened this restaurant two years back. Since last year, we are serving free food to the needy. Coronavirus has spread all over the world, and its effects are now being seen in Pakistan as well, so we want to help the people,” Dar told Sportstar from Lahore.
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“During this lockdown, people have become jobless. People who don’t have a job now, can come to my restaurant and have food for free,” Dar said.
Located near the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Pia Road, Lahore, the restaurant has been serving free food in between 2-3 PM.
“The number of people are increasing day by day. From today, we have called the police to ensure that the people keep a safe distance between each other, while they are standing in the queue,” Dar said.
The ICC elite panel umpire also runs a charitable organisation - Aleem Dar Foundation - which aims to serve the poor and the needy people.
“So far, I am running the foundation all by myself. I would request more people to come forward and help others,” Dar said, making it clear that the foundation has some long-term plans in store.
“In the next six months, I am going to buy three ambulances and will give free services to the people. We are also running the Aleem Dar Cricket Academy in Lahore, where we give free training and financial support to young and underprivileged talents,” Dar said.
“We also have a team for the hearing-impaired boys. Four players from the academy have already made it to the Pakistan Deaf team, and we want to continue helping those people…”
In his long and illustrious career, Dar has officiated some iconic cricket fixtures, but the 51-year-old is happy to give something back to the community. “We should back each other in the times of crisis,” he stated.