‘What a Member of Parliament taught me’ by Stratford student Mathunsiaa

Mathunsiaa Yoganathan, a Year Nine student in form 9B at Sarah Bonnell School in Deanery Road, Stratford, writes a special report for Press Gang this week about the day Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, visited her school.

“Rushanara Ali MP is part of the Labour party and believes and enjoys the work she does.

“It is amazing to know that even though her and her family migrated from Bangladesh when she was only seven, she went to Oxford University and is now at a good position as a Member of Parliament.

She has worked really hard, in order to get to the place she is now; this has inspired me and many other girls in Year Nine and has given us the belief that if we work hard, we can achieve our dreams, however ambitious they are.

“It was a great privilege to have Ms. Ali visit our school and talk to us about her life and everything she has gone through to be where she is now.

“I have learnt a lot about ‘the outside world’, especially about politics and how hard it can be.

“She has told us that there can be many rejections and let-downs in the course of growing up but we must be always be strong as there are many positives also, like being able to help the community, you grew up in.

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“It was very motivational to see that Rushanara Ali grew up with a harder life than many of us have, but we know if she is able to pursue her dreams and become a MP than we can to.

“Luckily, some of us - including me - got an opportunity to ask her some questions.

“We have gained a lot of knowledge through these questions but the most surprising fact I learnt was that there is some sort of sexual discrimination in Parliament, as men get paid more than women!

“I also got an insight of what she thinks the Olympics has done for the image of Britain; for this question she answered: ‘The Olympics has transformed Britain dramatically, and has been a core reason Britain is being seen in a different light by other countries.’

“Sarah Bonnell was very lucky to have got a visit from Ms. Ali, and she has left a memorable and inspiring talk in the lives of the girls of Year Nine which we will remember and use as a guide in our lives.”