UK Muslim, 100, walks garden laps for virus victims while fasting

Inspired by Tom Moore, Dabirul Choudhury raises tens of thousands for coronavirus victims from UK to Bangladesh.

Dabirul Choudhury
Dabirul Choudhury, 100, has walked more than 100 laps in his garden in a bid to raise funds for coronavirus victims in the UK and Bangladesh [Courtesy: Dabirul Choudhury]

A 100-year-old man is walking laps in his east London garden to raise funds for coronavirus victims in the United Kingdom, Bangladesh and dozens of other countries.

Born on January 1, 1920 in modern-day Bangladesh, Dabirul Choudhury moved to London to study English literature in 1957.

Inspired by Tom Moore, a fellow British centenarian who attracted worldwide attention by walking garden laps and raising almost 33 million pounds ($41m) for the National Health Service (NHS), Choudhury had a target of 100 laps when he started his mission on April 26.

But Choudhury hit that goal within days, and continues with the garden laps to raise more funds.

As a Muslim, he is fasting during Ramadan while he walks. So far, he has raised about 75,000 pounds ($92,700).

Choudhury, as an elderly person in the UK, has been in self-isolation for about two months under the current lockdown measures, which the government is set to review this week.

On his JustGiving fundraising page, he says: “More than half a billion people will be pushed into poverty unless immediate action is taken. Predominantly the people of Bangladesh and third world countries will suffer the most – children and vulnerable families will suffer from extreme hunger.”

The UK on Tuesday became Europe’s hardest-hit country, in terms of deaths from coronavirus, overtaking Italy. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, more than 32,000 people have died with COVID-19.

Bangladesh has only reported 183 deaths since the start of its epidemic, but as one of the world’s most populous countries, there are simmering fears of a worse outbreak and economic troubles.

Source: Al Jazeera