Thursday 31 March 2016
Engineering student and wheelchair user, Shoaeb Al-Kashmiri, has launched a petition to make Mile End station more accessible for those with disabilities. His brilliant idea was embraced by QMUL students, staff and the Students’ Union alike. We caught up with Shoaeb to find out about the amazing work that he’s doing.
What is your favourite thing about studying at QMUL?
There’s a list of things I really like about QMUL. I like how the Students’ Union is very active and we have various societies. My favourite thing about being a part of QMUL is the high percentage of international students gave me very good exposure and helped me fit in.
What/who inspired you to start the step-free access petition for Mile End station?
One of the days during my foundation year at QMUL, I was speaking to my elder brother and complained about how Mile End station is not a wheelchair accessible station. He gave me the idea of starting a petition and told me I should go for it. A year later I mentioned the idea to one of my lecturers, who then gave me information about the website.
Tell us more about your petition and its aims.
The only aim of this petition is to get Transport for London (TfL) to provide step-free access at Mile End, which is just one of many other stations without step-free access. I also noticed that there was a lack of awareness among people. During my two years here in London, one question I have been asked a lot is “Why don’t you use the Mile End station right next to your university?” and my answer would surprise them.
Did you expect such an amazing response from QMUL students supporting your petition?
As soon as I started the petition, I thought to myself “This might take a while, but why not give it a shot”. The support provided by the students was unexpected, especially during the first two weeks – the word got around really fast! I would like to thank every student for their support.
Have you worked with Miranda Black (VP Welfare) and the Students’ Union on extending this petition?
Yes, Miranda Black (VP Welfare) and the Students’ Union have also stepped in to help which is highly appreciated. We plan on working together to get as many signatures as possible and create awareness.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to take part in various activities. I read from time to time or try to learn new things such as working with new computer software. One of my favourite hobbies is car photography; I have a passion for cars.
Do you have any big plans for after graduation?
So far I have no plans for after graduation, my current aim is to graduate with good grades and ensure I have enough experience in my field before I graduate.
You can sign Shoaeb’s petition here: www.change.org