Middle East

Electrician to sell rare coin collection for Kerala flood relief

Dubai: A Dubai-based electrician from the South Indian State of Kerala said he would part with his rare collection of coins, currencies and stamps to help flood victims back home.

Ibrahim Thavakkal, 42, said he had rejected attractive offers from many people who wanted to buy his collections in the past.

He claims he has coins issued by several Indian kings in the year 1300 and silver coins [Indian rupee] issued by King George VI in 1948, among the rarest in his collection. Likewise, he has dozens of rare stamps and currencies, which he started collecting since childhood.

“A Saudi national told me he was ready to offer me whatever amount I wanted, but I never wanted to part with this treasure,” he told Gulf News.

Thavakkal said he never changed his mind even in the face of extreme financial difficulties, after he started building his six years ago, a project which is not yet complete.

However, heartbreaking stories of fellow Keralites who lost their homes in the recent floods gave him second thoughts. “I would like to build three homes which will symbolise Keralas religious harmony — one each for a Hindu, Christian and Muslim [family],” said Thavakkal, who hails from Kasargode district.

As a teenager working at his fathers restaurant, Thavakkal started collecting coins and continued the hobby when he joined a hotel in Dubai to work as an electrician, 18 years ago. Visitors from across the globe who stayed at the hotel happily presented him their coins, he says. Regular visitors who knew about his hobby gave him currency notes and stamps as well.

Although he is not aware of the value of his collection, he believes it will be enough to build the dream homes for three families back home.

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