Curry houses in Bristol have raised £2,500 for good causes – thanks to a national event celebrating the forefathers who introduced millions of Britons to a taste of the subcontinent.
British Curry Day was launched to mark those who came to Britain from the 1960s – opening restaurants and takeaways – and to show support for the industry today.
Businesses taking part donated £1 to good causes for every Tikka Masala sold on the day.
Community champion Naseem Talukdar, from Fishponds, whose own parents ran a restaurant, said: “It’s great so many people were keen to get involved.
“It was an opportunity to both commemorate past generations and support our community.”
Charities and community contributions
The money was given to AskingBristol, which connects charities with individuals, organisations and businesses that can support them.
It then gave £500 each to the five following organisations: Barton Hill Amateur Boxing Club; ConfiDANCE, which provides free dance sessions to children and young people in Shirehampton and Avonmouth; Street Space, a youth and community work organisation is based in Knowle; St Aldhelm’s Juniors Youth U12 Girls football team and Oasis Community Hub North Bristol.
The hub works across the communities of Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and Avonmouth in North West Bristol to reconnect people to each other and to the services they need.
Amy Boucher from ConfiDANCE said: “The dancers are very excited to buy some new costumes and props to help enhance their dance shows.
“A huge thank you to Naseem and all involved through the British Curry Club in their fundraising efforts.”
Dr John Manley of AskingBristol added: “Working with AskingBristol’s ambition to democratise asking and giving across Greater Bristol, the funds raised were divided among five brilliant community groups providing physical activities for young people.”
Curry houses continue to face challenges following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Enam Ali, publisher of Spice Business magazine and event founder, has spoken of ‘losing many of the country’s first curry restaurateurs’ to the pandemic.
UK Curry Connect (UKCC) is a campaign group which has been set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry.
Naseem is UKCC director for social responsibility and sustainability, as well as founder of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) charity – looking at ways to reduce single-plastic use in the catering industry.
He added: “British curry has been a key culinary and cultural contribution made by migrants from the Indian subcontinent.
“The industry continues to change and adapt, including finding ways to support its community and be more environmentally friendly.”
British Curry Day coincided with 50 years of independence for Bangladesh, which was a national holiday in the country on December 16.