COMMUNITY worker Mohammed Miah has just had his fourth book published to inspire scholars from his home village in Bangladesh to succeed in education.

He has personally helped more than 500 students from Moishashee village to receive an education through scholarships as well as paying for improvement works to the local high school in Sylhet.

Mr Miah, 81, from Holme Bank, Rawtenstall, came to England aged 26 with no knowledge of the language, but a willingness to learn.

Education has been his passion since he became the first person in his village to pass the entrance exam to the local high school – but that was four miles away.

He said: “My mother wasn’t very happy that I would be walking that far, but I was very determined.

“The school year started in January when it was dry, but when the monsoon came the road became a river and I had to swim across. Then one day I got a lift in a boat, but it sank and I ended up losing all my books.”

At just 13, he fixed up lodgings near the school so he didn’t have far to go to get to class.

After vocational training, he became a surveyor and worked as an instructor.

In 1963, Mr Miah came to England alone, leaving behind his parents, four brothers and three sisters.

His first book ‘Old World New Life’ tells the story of his first few years in England. His three other books are written in Bengali – ‘From Moishashee to Lancashire’, ‘Mother’, and his latest book ‘Guiding Light’.

Mr Miah initially worked in mills and studied hard to learn English attending Alder Grange on a Sunday, an evening course at Burnley College and reading everything he could at Rawtenstall Library.

He set up the Bangladeshi Welfare Association in Rossendale and went on to become a bus conductor, owned and sold five restaurants and then became an interpreter working for the Crown Prosecution Service until retirement.

Father of five Mr Miah said: “I have printed 2,400 copies of my books and given them for free to children in my home village to encourage them to read and understand what education means and to discourage early marriages.

“I am trying to inspire the younger generation to realise that anything is possible if you study and if you try.”

As well as the scholarships, he pays for books, materials and school fees and is lobbying politicians to have the school adopted as a state school so that it can receive public money.

Mr Miah added: “I will not stop until the Bangladeshi government accept responsibility for the school. Education is everybody’s right.”