‘He’s the coolest thing’ says proud Stoke Newington son of “amazing” 100-year-old
- Credit: Courtesy of the Choudhury family
A Stoke Newington restaurant owner is proud of his 100-year-old dad who has raised more than £200k for victims of coronavirus.
Centenarian Dabirul Islam Choudhury became a London finalist for the Pride of Britain awards and has been praised by many, including Labour leader Keir Stamer and House of Lords life peer Baroness Uddin, after he started walking laps in his communal gardens in Bow during Ramadan.
Following in the footsteps of Captain Sir Tom Moore, Dabirul has raised money for coronavirus victims in the UK and 50 other countries, including sending a “truck-full” of aid to the village in Bangaldesh where he grew up.
His son Atique Choudhury, owner of Thai restaurant Yum Yum in Stoke Newington said: “It’s amazing. He carried on walking and walks now because he believes that he should be raising money for charity, doing positive things and making people aware of the plight of people who are very unfortunate.”
Atique also helped out during the pandemic providing thousands of meals for hospital workers in London.
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He says his dad brought him up to believe helping people is a blessing.
Dabirul Choudhury was born in British Assam, now Bangladesh, in January 1920 and played semi-professional football for some time before moving to London to study English Literature in 1957.
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He initially lived in St Albans, Hertfordhshire and became well-respected by the city’s residents for his community work.
His son says his dad has always been determined and likes to keep fit. Along with daily laps of his 80 metre communal garden Dabirul reads everyday, has written three books and is an avid poet.
Atique says his father has possibly become one of the most famous Bangladeshi’s outside of Bangladesh.
“A lot of British-Bangladeshis were hit in a very bad way [by coronavirus] but all of a sudden the community had somebody who is 100 years old walking up and down his garden and raising money.
“It gave a lot of positive energy to our community and he’s become an iconic figure,” Atique said.
In June ,a report by Public Health England (PHE) revealed people of Bangladeshi ethnicity had approximately twice the risk of death from the disease than people who were white British.
Dabirul has spoken with Sir Captain Tom Moore, who raised more than £30 million for NHS charities over lockdown and the two plan to walk together someday, either in person or virtually on zoom.
Atique says his dad has inspired older generations and younger ones, particularly his grandson who was shocked to learn he had been featured by men’s media publisher, LADbible.
The 57-year-old added: “It’s basically a circle of life that you end up being the son of, then he becomes the son of, and now he turns it around on me and I become the son of again.”
Its like a game of table tennis and at the age of a hundred he’s on LADbible – so you can imagine he’s the coolest thing.”
His dad has told him there is still much more work left to do.
“My father still believes the issue regarding coronvirus hasn’t finished and we must carry on with the good work. It’s very challenging times and the virus has affected a lot of people in the UK and throughout the world,” Atique said.
Visit Dabirul’s fundraiser to help raise money for Channel S Television’s ‘RFC COVID19 Crisis’ global Initiative at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dabirul-islam-choudhury