Freedom50 will organise the Bangladesh Bike Ride from February 3 to February 8 across the country to raise awareness of the global climate emergency and raise money to build an eco-school in Bangladesh.
Lauding the initiative, British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Dickson told the bikers, "I know that what you're doing while you're here is you are raising money to build a school in an area particularly affected by flooding"
"So that is both a contribution of education which is one of the main things that we as the British government do here and desperate also, contribution on climate which is another of our major themes in Bangladesh," he told the bikers at a function held at his residence.
“So it's really wonderful that you're showing the commitment of the community to country both on education and on climate”.
The aim of the bike ride is to raise awareness of the impact of global warming, build a school in a part of Bangladesh where severe flooding regularly displaces people, put a focus on physical and mental health, and have fun, a spokesperson of the organisation said.
“ Working with Human Appeal, our charity partner, our target is to raise over £100,000. To date we have raised over £70,000,” the spokesperson said.
The Freedom50 project is also collaborating with the British-Bangladeshi hospitality sector. Restaurants and takeaways throughout the country have partnered with Freedom 50 to host charity nights and ask their customers to contribute towards the school's building.
Shale Ahmed, Chair of the Freedom50 Charity Bike Ride said: ‘I’m so proud to be a part of Freedom50, a
project which aims to celebrate the British Bengali people and our heritage.
“This is an opportunity to work in collaboration with cities and communities throughout Bangladesh and the United Kingdom on a shared vision and celebrate the sacrifices made in 1971”.
“We need to highlight the impact of global warming both here in the UK and Bangladesh and what we can do in our communities to play a part in reducing our carbon footprint”.
He said, pandemic has also shone a light on mental health and well-being, the bike ride is a way we support each other to live a healthier life.’
Tauhid Pasha, one of the founders of Freedom 50, and a trustee for the SPWT charity said:
“Freedom 50 is going to provide an amazing start for young children from extremely poor backgrounds, many of whom are from families displaced by flooding and riverbank erosion.”
“Funds raised will provide a school building, a safe play area, and school equipment for children who attend the SPWT School and ensure that the school can provide a safe place for them to thrive, realise their dreams, and get a good academic start in life.”
Freedom 50 has evolved to encompass a wide range of cultural, arts/heritage, social and
sporting activities and to provide an opportunity to celebrate the heritage of the British Bangladeshi community.