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British Curry Day raises hundreds of pounds for armed forces charity

A restaurant in Atherstone has raised £500 for an armed forces charity – after donating £1 for every Tikka Masala sold on British Curry Day.

The national event was launched to mark those who came to Britain from the 1960s – opening restaurants and takeaways – and to show support for the industry today.

And Maya, in Sheepy Road, took part to support Veterans’ Contact Point (VCP), which was nominated by North Warwickshire’s MP Craig Tracey.

Kamal Miah, who runs Maya and is third generation in the industry, said: “This was an opportunity to support charity and celebrate our forefathers, who introduced millions of Britons to a taste of the subcontinent.”

Tam Webster, peer support lead VCP, said: “We are very grateful to all the team at Maya and their customers for supporting our charity.

“British Curry Day, which marks the nation’s favourite dish and has coincided with Bangladeshi independence, is a great event.”

Mr Tracey said: “Kamal and his team are fantastic supporters of our local community and get involved in lots of charitable work.

“I was delighted to be asked to work with them on this particular initiative, where it was great to be able to support local veterans through the excellent Veterans Contact Point – a charity very close to my heart”


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 adapt, including finding ways to support its community and be more environmentally friendly.”

Kamal, who received an award for community support from the High Sheriff and deputy lord lieutenant of Warwickshire Joe Greenwell, has struggled to get staff due to work permit issues.

He said: “It’s been a challenging time – from dealing with lockdowns, cancellations due to Covid, difficulties getting supplies and staffing issues.

“But we have very supportive customers. We’re still open. We’re still trading. We’re still in good health. We’re grateful.”

Bangladeshi Independence

British Curry Day coincides with 50 years of independence for Bangladesh and it is a national holiday in the country on December 16.

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North Warwickshire’s MP Craig Tracey, Kamal Miah, of Maya restaurant in Atherstone, and Tam Webster of Veterans Contact Point.

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Notes to editors

British Curry Day Spice Business, a magazine for the Asian restaurant sector, launched British Curry Day to commemorate early ‘curry pioneers’ who came to Britain from the 1960s. It was set up to mark the end of lockdown in England and to encourage people to eat out, as well as creating themes and opportunities to raise money for charity. The first event was held last year and called ‘Back the Bhaji’, with many businesses donating to charities for each one sold. Bangladesh independence. Bangladesh was previously part of the province of Bengal in British India. With the partition of India in 1947, it became the Pakistani province of East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan). In March 1971 the liberation war started – to break away from Pakistan. It lasted for nine months and ended with Bangladesh officially having its status as an independent nation, with its capital at Dhaka, recognised on December 16, 1971. Kamal Miah Kamal, 47, who arrived in the UK from Bangladesh at the age of six, grew up in Lozells and ran his first restaurant at the age of 19. The former St Francis pupil soon learnt English and adapted to a new way of life. His father worked two jobs – in a factory and at a restaurant, his grandfather opened a restaurant in Sparkhill, and his elder brother and uncle were also in the industry. Father-of-six Kamal, who started helping out in the kitchen at the age of 14, said: “The restaurant life is in my blood. I knew I would work in the trade – unless I became a famous footballer.” Kamal, whose maternal grandfather was in the British navy (HMS Cambridge), said he grew up with the ‘best of both worlds’ combining both cultures. He added: “I believe people of my generation have created variations of the traditional curry and added a modern twist.”

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