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Young citizen: Clayhall student activist fights to end discrimination around world

PUBLISHED: 15:30 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 14 June 2018

Cllr John Howard with the bikes. Picture: Redbridge Council

Cllr John Howard with the bikes. Picture: Redbridge Council

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A 22-year-old student activist from Clayhall is fighting to end discrimination at home and abroad.

Campaigning and charity work has been central to the work of Naseby Road resident Mahatir Pasha during his tenure as the 2017/18 General Secretary of the London School of Economics Students Union.

In March this year, he co-founded a charity called Britain Has Class aiming to amplify working class voices in universities, unions and workplaces across the country by advocating for greater representation.

“What we want is to change is the way class is perceived,” Mahatir said, speaking at the time of charity launch.

In November last year, he also led a campaign to remove Myanmar political leader Aung San Suu Kyi as honourary president of the Students Union in response to the persecution of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

“She was made an honourary president at the time that she was advocating democracy against the military junta,” he said.

“Now she represents something different.”

“She has not just been silent but has actually been complicit in some of the propaganda against the Rohingya groups.”

Mahatir’s work has led to his recognition by magazine British Bangladeshi Power Inspiration as one of the most influential figures on 2018.

“It was absolutely amazing - I was really honoured,” he said.

“I didn’t really expect to be recognised as there are so many British Bangladeshis doing great work.

“I hope I can live up to the expectation and continue the good work.”

Mahatir’ final term as student union’s head ends next month and he has a job lined up in the civil service’s fast stream.

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card. The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at the Mayor’s Community Awards in March.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under-25, by completing the form on this page.

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