A 100-year-old man from Bow in east London has been be awarded the Freedom of the City of London today after raising £420,000 to help people who have contracted, or been affected by, COVID-19 in the UK and Bangladesh.

Drawing inspiration from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts for the NHS, Dabirul Islam Choudhury walked 970 lengths of his communal garden during the lockdown in April and May, while fasting for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The award of the Freedom of the City of London was presented to Mr Choudhury during a ‘virtual’ ceremony at his home at 11am today, attended by his nominators, fellow Councillor Munsur Ali, Alderman Prem Goyal, Baroness Udin, and the High Commissioner for Bangladesh. It was great to play a small part in Mr Choudhury’s nomination as a member of the City Corporation’s Freedom Applications Committee.

It was announced this month that Mr Choudhury has been awarded an O.B.E. in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, in recognition of his achievement. 

Mr Choudhury’s fundraising has supported two major causes – NHS Charities Together, and Ramadan Family Commitment, run by UK-based free-to-air Channel S TV (which is aimed at the British Bangladeshi community), with the money distributed to charitable organisations in the UK, Bangladesh, and over 50 other countries around the world.