British Muslim Raises More Than £75,000 For Coronavirus Victims While Fasting06 May 2020
A 100-year old man in London has raised more than £75,000 for coronavirus victims in the United Kingdom, his native Bangladesh and other countries. Dabirul Islam Choudhury started his fundraising campaign, which was inspired by fellow centenarian Tom Moore’s campaign to raise money for the NHS, in April 26, reaching his goal within days.
He said that he started the campaign because he feels hundreds of thousands of people around the world will be pushed to poverty as a result of the outbreak. He said that Bangladesh and other poor countries stand most to lose from the crisis and said he wants to help children and vulnerable families from hunger.
“He Wants to Carry On”
Dabirul, a poet, an experienced fundraiser and a community leader, has been self-isolating in his home like most British people over the past two months. He says that he was inspired to start his campaign of lapping around his garden from the campaign of veteran Colonel, Tom Moor, who raised over £32 Million for the NHS. His initial target of £1,000 was reached quickly, encouraging him to carry on. He has now decided to continue raising money until the end of Ramadan on May 23. So far, he has collected £77,000, breaking his original target by 7,705%.
According to his son, Atique, Dabirul has been increasing the number of laps he is doing and said that he wants to carry on. It reached the point where his family are encouraging him to take more breaks, especially as he is fasting for Ramadan.
Dabirul is an experienced fundraiser and community leader
Dabirul, who was born in 1920 and moved to the UK in 1957 to study English literature, has already taken part in many fundraising campaigns and community projects, including raising money for the independence struggle of Bangladesh. He partnered up the Ramadan Family Commitment (RFC) COVID-19 Crisis Initiative organised by Channel S to raise money for people in poverty in the UK, Bangladesh and over 50 other countries. In his Just Giving page, he expressed concern that the crisis would hit the most vulnerable the hardest.
Although Bangladesh has only around 180 coronavirus deaths, the country is densely populated and very poor. Although economic conditions improved in recent years, the crisis has shut down the export markets it relies on, leaving most of the population on the brink of poverty and the government with few ways to stop an outbreak if it escalates.