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Environmental campaigner nominated for award celebrating diverse communities

A social entrepreneur and environmental campaigner has been nominated for an MTM award, which celebrates the work and contributions of diverse communities and individuals across the South West.

Naseem Talukdar, who founded Projects Against Plastic (PAP) to find ways to reduce single-plastic use – starting in the catering industry, has been shortlisted for Person of the Year.

Naseem, who lives in Fishponds, Bristol, said: “I am delighted to be nominated for an MTM award, where businesses and communities come together.”


Naseem has also received a High Sheriff’s Award from the Lord-Lieutenant Bristol in recognition of his contribution to the city, as well as The Lord Mayor’s Medal in 2020.

The trained software engineer has received MTM awards in the past in recognition of his work with PAP and Feed The Homeless – helping provide thousands of home-cooked meals to rough sleepers.

Naseem is also director for social responsibility and sustainability for UK Curry Connect (UKCC) campaign group, which has been set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry. He worked with UKCC to deliver free hot meals to key workers and vulnerable people during lockdown.

He also leads workshops to educate residents, business owners and community leaders on ways to tackle climate change as part of the Curry and Conversation series.

The UWE IT graduate said: “I believe it is vital we address social inequalities and choose more sustainable options to protect our planet and future generations.”

Supporting the community

Naseem, an environmental consultant for Bristol City Council, is also a champion for Gympanzees, a company with a mission to make sure young disabled people can live lives full of exercise, play and friendship. He was also involved in a project to encourage homeless and undocumented migrants to have the Covid vaccine to protect themselves in Bristol.

And he supported British Curry Day, to commemorate forefathers in the industry and raise money for local good causes. He said: “My driving force is to make a difference in my community and further afield. I also want to support and give a voice to those who are underrepresented in our society.”


Naseem, whose own parents used to run Rupali restaurant in Kingswood, has introduced changes at takeaways in the region – from reducing waste to offering more plant-based choices.

With UKKC, he has consulted with the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on issues surrounding recruitment within the industry and the various challenges they face since the outbreak of Covid-19. The team also worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for ethnic minority small business owners to raise concerns of those working in the field.

Naseem has delivered Curry and Conversation workshops nationwide and helped coordinate groups to raise thousands of pounds for charity and deliver thousands of hot meals to those in need. He has also worked with representatives from mosques in Bristol to find sustainable ways to serve food and drink while breaking fast during Ramadan.

MTM Awards

The MTM Awards were set up in 2012 to promote and honour diverse businesses, community groups, and persons that have excelled.

Mast The Magazine, a community-based Black Asian & Ethnic publication in the South West, noticed Asian businesses and community groups were not involved in award incentives in Bristol. This was despite these communities playing an active role in the city and running successful businesses and community-based organisations.

This led to the creation of the awards – to give the South Asian community in the region a platform to showcase their excellence. The first awards were held on Saturday, December 1.

The event has supported a number of charities in the UK and abroad – raising awareness of their work and giving them an opportunity to promote their mission.

The MTM Awards are now one of the biggest award schemes in the UK celebrating the excellence & achievements of the Asian, Black & Ethnic Minorities.

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Naseem Talukdar, who founded Projects Against Plastic (PAP) to find ways to reduce single-plastic use.

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Notes to editors

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 went on to work at Rajastan Royal in Downend, which has won several awards for innovation and its community support. Naseem’s work in the food industry led him to help the homeless and set up PAP.

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