Dabirul Islam Choudhury, Bow’s own 100-year-old walking hero, has, quite literally, stepped up to the challenge of Covid-19. Walking in Captain Tom Moore’s shoes, a former British Army Officer who completed laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS, Choudhury is doing the same, but with an added difficulty.
Since Ramadan began on April 26, this local ceteneran has been walking 100 laps of his 80-metre communal garden, while fasting. Choudhury intends to keep walking for the rest of Ramadan, which ends on May 23, to raise money for the RFC’s (Ramadan Family Commitment) COVID19 Crisis’ Initiative, run by the British-Bandladeshi broadcaster Channel S.
On a Channel 4 News broadcast, Choudhury explained, ‘no, it’s not tiring because it is my habit, to help people, to help mankind’. His son, Atique Choudhury (57) added ‘he usually does a lot of social work, he’s been doing it all his life. He raised money for the liberation of Bangladesh and was one of the pioneers for raising money for the famine which hit Bangladesh in 1972’.
Initially, Choudhury hoped to raise £1,000, but he raised this much in only the first eight hours of his crowdfunder going live. His story struck a chord with locals and the national press alike; so far, Choudhury has raised an incredible £99,770 for Channel S’s initiative.
This money will be used to fund charities that help people affected by coronavirus in the UK, Bangladesh as well as those delivering aid to refugees.
On his JustGiving page, which is backed by over 5,335 people, Choudhury genially thanked his supporters, commenting, ‘to everyone who has donated and continues to donate to this cause – we are absolutely overwhelmed and extremely grateful for your wonderful donations… people from all diverse backgrounds are doing whatever they can to help this cause, and for this we are humbled’.
Donor messages on JustGiving accompanying their contributions are equally in-awe of Choudhury’s mission. Mima says, ‘you are a credit to human beings. Every Bengali around the world is so proud of you and your achievement. May Allah SWT keep you in good health.’
Choudhury was born in British Assam, now Bangladesh, in January 1920, before moving to London to study English Literature in 1957. Initially living in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Choudhury became well-respected by the city’s residents for his community work. Atique, who recently celebrated his 57th Birthday, shared this heartfelt message: ‘my birthday present has been my father.’
‘During this holy month of Ramadan, I want everyone to think about the people are not as fortunate as us and help by donating’.
This VE Day, Choudhury’s determination and incredible positivity has once again proven that Bow’s residents continue to come together to make the most out of a bad situation and help those in need.
If this has got you inspired, read up about local artist, Peter Liversidge, whose tribute to the NHS has gone viral.
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