A fundraiser has collected more than £20,000 in the space of a few days for the ongoing flood relief effort in Bangladesh.

Milad Sarwar, 22, raised the impressive sum in two days via GoFundMe, a fundraising platform. He is a graduate of marketing and has thousands of followers on Instagram.

He said: “About two years ago I wanted to do some charity work by raising funds for Bangladeshi causes and opened an Instagram account named after my grandmother, Nessa. 

"At the time I started funding small projects such as cataract surgery for the poor. As my following began to grow I realised I could really make a difference and use my platform for good causes.

“In Ramadan 2020 I managed to raise quite a lot of money which was used to help a family in Bangladesh who didn’t have a home. I used Instagram to show people the work being done with their donations.

“When the recent flooding began my uncle Mahbubur Rahman suggested that we do something for the victims. He suggested buying and donating food-packs. My uncle plays a huge part in my charity projects.  We as a team were the first to distribute aid in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

“As I began to raise awareness and showed people what was happening in Sylhet, Bangladesh, my Instagram post went viral. I uploaded videos about the catastrophic effects of the flood and how severe the situation was. Had it not been for social media showing what was going on a lot of people wouldn’t have cared.

“As the funds grew I was worried if the team would be able to handle the logistics of buying and distributing aid but thankfully I have a great team on the ground in flood-hit Bangladesh.

“Bengalis are very resilient and determined so I had a good team of volunteers who offered to help. They are doing a great job in giving out food aid twice a week. We also have support from Bangladeshi authorities too.

“My initial target was £500 as it was meant to be a small project, I didn’t expect it to go viral. This is my first major charity appeal and I am happy about the response from British Bangladeshis.”

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Milad recently graduated with a First class honours degree and said he is passionate about learning South Asian history. He started posting on Instagram when he was 18 as a history page and it gradually developed into a media channel with affiliations to a charity.

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He said:  “I send money to Bangladesh where the team buy food aid such as rice, dahl, oil, spices and anything needed to cook a hot meal and distribute it to the helpless and needy. The flooding started three weeks ago but the water hasn’t receded yet.

“The team have trucks and boats which are used to reach difficult and hard to reach areas. The remainder of the funds will be used to build tin houses for the homeless and needy. There are families who have nothing whatsoever and are living on the roadside. 

Going forward, Milad plans to register as a charity and just hopes to help people in need. 

He has been to Bangladesh a few times so it is a cause close to his heart.

He added: “I have seen severe poverty first hand and it is painful to see people in that situation. British Bangladeshis really feel for the victims of the flood. I have been blessed with a good platform with good followers so I will use the platform to help people.”