Two graduates from Queen Mary, University of London’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science carried the Olympic Flame through the London borough of Tower Hamlets on Saturday 21 July.
Raju Miah, 21, is a life-long Tower Hamlets resident who graduated from Queen Mary this summer with a BSc(Eng) in Information and Communications Technology. Raju is an active volunteer who has spent many years of life advocating on behalf of others, supporting young and vulnerable people in reaching their full potential. He was previously elected a Member of Youth Parliament and Young Mayor for Tower Hamlets and teaches in theatres with young people to inspire and raise their aspirations.
Abul Kasam was born in Mile End Hospital, went to Stepney Green School, and has lived in Tower Hamlets for his entire 30 years. As a student at QM, he became an active volunteer in the College’s scheme to send mentors to local secondary schools. He graduated from Queen Mary in 2004 with a MEng in Internet Computing and has volunteered for a huge number of projects in the years since.
Kasam, who works for financial services company SEI, has been a Millennium Volunteers Ambassador, obtaining over 150 hours of voluntary work. He has worked as a mentor and tutor at east London schools and been a Christmas volunteer for homeless charity Crisis. Kasam has also worked closely with a variety of charities such as Islamic Relief, helping to raise funds in as many ways as possible, from bucket collections to mountain climbing.
With a gruelling sponsored trek up the mountain range of Sinai in 2008, Kasam raised over £1,500 to help war widows gain access to higher education. He has also recently become a governor at Kobi Nazrul Primary School in Whitechapel - the school his nephews attend.
This summer, he will be volunteering for the Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies and working in the Olympic Casting and Costume department. He is part of the show cast for the Paralympics and a Games Maker for the Table Tennis tournament.
His parents are first generation Bangladeshis who came to London to build a new life for themselves and their children near the site where the Olympic Stadium now stands. Kasam was nominated by his wife Farhana Yeasmien, who he met through a volunteering project. In her nomination she says: “He is forever thankful for the opportunities his parents gave him. I think it's this that makes him want to give back even more to his community. He has always tried to be the best he can be, and in his own sort of way is trying to make a real difference in our community.”
Kasam carried the Olympic Flame along Mile End Road from Westfield Way to Bancroft Road, past Queen Mary's Mile End campus.
Read more about Queen Mary's other student Torchbearers.
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