British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has honored the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign founded by four Pakistanis through the ‘Points of Light Award’ for their extraordinary services for the National Health Services (NHS), key workers, homeless, and people in need in the United Kingdom.
Bilal Bin Saqib, Momin Saqib, Raja Suleman Raza and Muhammad Arif Anis had launched the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign during lockdown in 2020, which has seen over 100,000 meals sent to the NHS and key workers, the homeless, and people in need.
The ‘Points of Light’ are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. First established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014. Since then, hundreds of people have been named Points of Light by the British Prime Minister, highlighting an enormous array of innovative and inspirational volunteering across the length and breadth of Britain.
The ‘One Million Meals’ campaign has received support from sporting stars such as former footballer David Beckham and boxer Amir Khan, and has inspired hundreds of volunteers to help with communications and deliveries, and local companies who donated food and healthy drinks. Operating in more than 200 locations through 47 hospitals, trusts and food banks, the initiative aims to continue providing nutritious meals whilst the nation recovers from COVID-19.
Raja Suleman Raza, also the chief executive of a restaurant chain that co-founded the initiative the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign, said it was an absolute honor to be recognised for the Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister and expressed his intent to continue serving the vulnerable communities.Muhammad Arif Anis, an author of ‘Made In Crises’ and expert on leadership said the One Million Meals campaign was Pakistani diaspora’s response to a humanitarian crisis above any divisions in society.
It was a response above the lines of race, ethnicity and religion, exhibiting a British spirit that is needed now, more than ever, he added. Bilal Bin Saqib said he was extremely humbled to receive the recognition from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that ensuring water accessibility to the deprived communities had always been a cause that was close to his heart. Momin Saqib said global citizens must work towards making the world a better place in their best capacity.