28-year-old Muhammad Usman from Punjab is selected in acknowledgement of his keenness to bring education to all. He designed an educational programme called “Back to Life Edutainment for Street Children” which he upheld through social media and managed to inspire over 500 young people to voluntarily implement the project in four cities.
While 26-year-old Zainab Bibi is the first Pakistani female to win the award for her work and research in turning utilised tissue papers into bio-diesel. Her outstanding work and efforts for the environment is a source of pride for the nation that is regarded as to suppress women in the society.
They are selected from a competitive process where thousands of young people from all over the Commonwealth applied to be a Queen’s Young Leader. 60 young people, that are taking the lead in changing lives and make a lasting impression in their communities, are selected for this award. Usman and Zainab will be representing Pakistan as they join winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of sophisticated activities – designed to help them further for their life-changing work.
While talking to a private newspaper, Muhammad Usman said that he is super excited for the Residential Week for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. It’s a prestigious opportunity to learn, share and acknowledge being a Queen’s Young Leader.
Zainab added that as the time is getting close, her excitement to meet The Queen is sky rocketing. She has no words to explain her feelings as she was anxiously waiting for the best week of her life.”
She further explained that she has been selected for the Queen’s Leader award for her work in green energy in Pakistan. She explained that in her two recent projects, she has produced Bio-Ethanol a Bio fuel from waste tissue papers. In another project she has introduced a plant species Camelina Sativa from USA in Pakistan and produced Bio Diesel from that plant. Camelina Sativa is a plant which has very short growth cycle, greater resistance to drought and need very small amount of water therefore it can be grown in to desert areas of Pakistan. After growing in control environment, now her team is working to actually grow this plant in Thar Desert and on success, it will help to eradicate extreme poverty from that drought affected region. She has done all these projects under Pakistan Society of Green Energy where she has been working as Chairperson.
The winners are aged between 18 and 29 years that come from the Commonwealth countries. They are rigorously working to support others, raise awareness and encourage change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
The Young Leader Award is presented at the annual Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering which is Rs 100 million. It is designed to celebrate ground-breaking innovations in the field of engineering that has a major impact on humanity.