British Queen Elizabeth presented the awards and Prince Harry joined her in congratulating the winners-Sajid Iqbal and Rahat Hossain at the special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Jun 29,Agencies report.
The awards were established in 2014 to help change-makers across the Commonwealth to realise their potential and achieve greater success. The awards have recognised winners for their work tackling bullying in schools, helped preserve the environment, promoted gender equality and have taken the lead in driving change in their communities.
Sajid is championing the use of renewable energy in commercial and domestic environments. He is the founder of Change, a youth-led development agency which has been pioneering renewable energy initiatives since 2012, according to the Queen’s Young Leaders website.
Through Change, Sajid has introduced the idea of using low-cost natural lighting in slums and factories. In disadvantaged communities, he has introduced solar bottle lights to 4,000 residents ensuring natural lighting and reduced dependency on electric bulbs. He has also developed solar pipe lights, which allow factories to use natural light from outside, rather than electrical bulbs.
Rahat is working to improve Bangladesh’s emergency and disaster relief services through training and technology. He is the co-founder of CriticaLink, which trains emergency first aid volunteers, and alerts them to accidents via a mobile app.
Since launching the organisation in 2015, Rahat and his team have trained over 2,600 volunteers. The mobile app allows people to report accidents and has led to the rescue of more than 1,000 patients in Dhaka so far.
Guests at the event included Sir Mo Farah, Liam Payne, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Anita Rani and former UK Prime Minister and Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Sir John Major.
“At home and abroad, I see people – especially young people — doing incredible things. They are creative and innovative, and most importantly, they are committed to making the world a better, more optimistic, and compassionate place,” Prince Harry said at the ceremony.
“The Queen’s Young Leaders award recognises what these incredible young people have achieved — not for themselves, but for others — for their peers, for their communities, for their environment, and for those less fortunate.”
Award winner Sajid thanked the Queen for the huge honour of the award and was enthusiastic about the opportunities it opened up.
“It’s been an amazing week here in the UK meeting all of the other leaders. I’ve learnt so much and I can’t wait to put it all into practice. Being part of the Queen’s Young Leaders family is really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future now holds,” he said.
The recipients of the Young Leaders Award gain access to training, mentoring and networking designed to improve their leadership skills.
They received the opportunity to attend a reception at 10 Downing Street, visit the UK headquarters of Facebook and meet senior executives of the BBC World Service.
The winners also took part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, met UK business leaders, and visited projects that attempt to improve the lives of the vulnerable in the UK.