Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

UK: 100-year-old Muslim man among Covid heroes honoured by the Queen

Queen’s Birthday Honours list recognises hundreds for their efforts during the pandemic

Mr Dabirul Islam Choudhury who has been awarded the OBE for charitable service during Covid-19, photographed at his home in Bow, east London. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mr Dabirul Islam Choudhury who has been awarded the OBE for charitable service during Covid-19, photographed at his home in Bow, east London. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)

A 100-year-old British Muslim man has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for raising £420,000 ($548,000) for coronavirus charities during Ramadan.

Dabirul Islam Choudhury raised the staggering sum walking 970 laps of his 80-metre garden in east London in the holy month.

“I feel proud they have honoured me for the efforts I have done,” Mr Choudhury told the Independent after receiving the honour.

“I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

Mr Choudhury reached his initial target of 100 laps only a few hours after starting his walk on April 26.

He said he was inspired to start his money-raising endeavour after a similar initiative by Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Sir Tom was knighted for his achievements of raising more than £28 million for charity by doing laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of the £420,000 he raised, £116,000 was donated to the NHS. The rest of the sum was divided across 30 charities through the Family Commitment organised by Channel S, a TV channel for the Bangladeshi community in the UK.

The funds were distributed to victims of the coronavirus in the UK and Bangladesh among 52 countries worldwide.

Atique Choudhury, Mr Choudhury's son, said his father would share the honour with everyone who had helped him on his journey.

“Where we are from in Bangladesh, we don't get much recognition for the work that we do, so this is for all the people who contributed towards my dad's success and all the victims of Covid-19.

“He said his work hasn't finished and he's going to carry on working and raising money for people affected by Covid.”

Mr Choudhury was born on January 1, 1920, in British Assam, which would eventually become a part of East Pakistan.

In 1971, it became the independent state of Bangladesh.

In 1957 Mr Choudhury moved to London to study English literature at university and would eventually settle down in St Albans as a community leader.

Updated: October 10, 2020 10:19 PM

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