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British Curry Day raises £2,500 for local good causes

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.

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A cheque made out to a youth club.

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Naseem’s grandfather, Hassan Ali Talukdar, came from a small village in Bangladesh – then part of the province of Bengal in British India. He is understood to have managed food and logistics for the British Navy during World War II – until their ship was captured by Germans and they were held as prisoners of war. The shipmates were released three months later in May, 1945, following allied victory – and Hassan was granted British Citizenship in recognition of his work. He worked in the UK for several years before returning home. Naseem, who received a High Sheriff’s Award from the Lord-Lieutenant Bristol in recognition of his contribution to the city and was invited to meet the Queen, said: “I was very young when my grandfather died but I heard a lot about him. “It’s believed he ran away from home and joined a ship at Calcutta. I’m proud of him and his contribution, which shows our integration into British culture goes back years.” Future opportunities Naseem’s father, Hazi Mohammed Siddik Ali, came to the UK in the early 1970s and opened his first restaurant in Bath, called Prince of India, in London Road. He later opened Rupali in Kingswood, Bristol, in 1981, which attracted widespread custom at the time as it was one of the first to use a clay oven tandoor. Mr Ali retired in 1995 and returned to Bangladesh, where he carries out charity and community work. Naseem, who studied an IT degree at UWE and has worked as a software engineer, would often help out in the kitchen. He said: “He was hardworking and helped to provide for our future, both supporting our education and instilling a strong work ethic.” Tackling homelessness and plastic pollution Naseem now heads Rajastan Royal in Downend and his work in the food industry led him to help the homeless and set up PPAAP. The takeaway, which joined a pilot scheme to reduce its use of plastic, has been awarded Best Takeaway in the South West in the Asian and Curry Awards. Naseem said: “My work in takeaways, restaurants and with the homeless has heightened my awareness of the huge amount of plastic used in the industry. I’ve been working with various specialists to find a long-term solution to this problem.” Rajastan Royal continues to contribute to its community, including its role in the Food4NHS project, in which thousands of free hot meals were delivered to NHS staff. They have donated money to 1625 Independent People, which supports young people aged 16 to 25 at risk of becoming homeless or who are already homeless. Naseem said: “It’s important to recognise the help we had from those who came before us and to give back where we can.”

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