CURRY LIFE RECOGNISES COVID CURRY HEROES FOR THEIR WORKDURING PANDEMIC
By Sam Smith
The Curry houses from across the nation hve been given special recognition by the Curry Life magazine. It has named them as Covid Curry Heroes for their unprecedented offer of help and support to NHS, care workers and vulnerable people during the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown.
The Curry Life Magazine is known as the most authoritative voice of the Curry Industry in Great Britain. A total of eighteen businesses from across the country were given the Local Covid Curry honour for their courageous work during the pandemic, and for helping those who were most in need of assistance during this difficult period.
Explaining the thinking behind the LOCAL COVID CURRY HERO initiative, Editor in Chief, Syed Nahas Pasha, said: “Despite the unprecedented problems posed by the present pandemic, these curry houses have gone out of their way to be almost a fourth emergency service to vulnerable people.
“Their businesses and livelihoods have been severely impacted, but this has not stopped them offering a helping hand to the most needy in our society at a time of crisis.”
He added: “During Covid 19, many Curry Houses have just managed to keep their heads above the water – absorbing the costs of closures, reduced capacity and Covid-19 compliance – many often putting their own lives at risk, as they themselves come largely from vulnerable BAME communities.
“Their efforts really deserve to be recognised as truly heroic-and we are delighted to be able to mark their magnificent contributions in this way.”
Syed Belal Ahmed, Editor of Curry Life Media Group, said: We have from the start decided this recognition will go to a business that has demonstrated determination and resilience throughout the pandemic and tackled challenges head-on.
“We have been totally overwhelmed to see the businesses and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their response to the Covid-19 crisis and their effort deserves to be recognised.
“Curry Life have sent a bespoke Covid Curry Hero Plaque and a letter of appreciation directly to those businesses that have been recognised as no formal ceremony can be held due to covid restrictions,” he added.
After giving this special recognition Curry Life editorial team reached out to those businesses to get their feedback and most of them have said they were remarkably humbled to have received this industry recognition from Curry Life. This is what they had to say about this.
Manik Miah – Haweli Indian Restaurant, Ealing
Manik told us, “I feel great, and I’m so impressed to have been given this award by Curry Life. I really wasn’t expecting it. We’ll be sure to frame the certificate and feature it prominently. Our thanks goes to Curry Life!”
Speaking about helping those in need during the pandemic, Manik said, “I wasn’t aware how vulnerable so many people were. Once COVID is gone, I think there’s so much more help needed to rebuild our lives.” Since being given this recognition, Manik Miah said: “we had fantastic support from our customers and of course, local media was very supportive, promoting our charitable work and contribution during the pandemic.”
Shaz Rahman – Blue Tiffin, Stoke-on-Trent
We spoke to Curry Hero Shaz Rahman of the Blue Tiffin in Stoke who told us, “It’s so exciting to be given this recognition. But much more work needs to be done. We should do more for our local community and those who are in need of help.”
He went on to say, “I just want to say a massive thank you to our local and loyal customers. They have supported us when the pandemic began, and we’ve been privileged to support vulnerable people during this difficult time.
Speaking about 2020, Shaz said, “We’ve lost a year of trade, but we look forward to a better year ahead.”
Ruhel Hoque – The Indian Ocean, Cambridge
“We are all so very happy to have been included in this unique national recognition. We will proudly display this special plaque and certificate at the restaurant for customers to see. Ruhel told us his thoughts about the future. “We are lucky to have been supported by our community, sourcing ingredients during the pandemic has been challenging and there is worry that Brexit may make it harder and expensive.”
“Let’s hope things have improved by next year. But for now, following the guidelines is the most important thing. I’d like to stress this to everyone, please follow the rules.”
Habibur Khan – The Radhuni, Edinburgh
Habibibur Khan from The Radhuni in Edinburgh told us, “We’ve not done this for recognition. But it still feels amazing to be given this accolade. We’ve had help, so it’s our duty to give back and look after one another. But right now, we need to protect the NHS.”
We asked him why the Curry Industry has been so willing to help others during the pandemic, “A lot of people in the curry industry recognise struggle, not our generation but our parents and grandparents. This pandemic reminds us of that, and I think this explains why we’ve been so keen to get involved and support others.”
Chef Abul Monsur – Taj Cuisine, Chatham, Kent
“We’re very excited about this special honour, we want to say a big thanks to Curry Life and our regular customers.”
Abul told us, “It’s nice to be recognised. Although my reason for providing help during pandemic wasn’t to gain recognition. It was because I see the value of charity and helping others.”
He went on to tell us that both his children are front line NHS workers, so Abul has seen the dangers of COVID-19 first-hand. “It’s been so hard for them (his children and the NHS), but the vaccine news brings me peace of mind.”
Oliul Khan – The Magna Tandoori, Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Oliul Khan was so happy to receive this honour from Curry Life; he told us how it had made a “major difference” to his business. “So many customers and friends are reaching out, I honestly consider this a huge lifetime achievement. I wasn’t expecting it either, we just wanted to help our community.”
“The award from Curry Life will be proudly displayed on the bar, where everyone can see it. We’re also going to have a big banner made for outside the restaurant as well as ‘COVID Hero’ badges for our staff.”
Oliul also told us that a local taxi company wants to advertise for them, free of charge.
Abu Moijd – Chandini Restaurant, Sawbridgeworth
In regards to being given the recognition, Abu Mojid told us, “It’s lovely to be appreciated for what we did by Curry Life Magazine. If I’m being honest, it’s been a tough time keeping the business going. “No one week has been comparable to another but giving back in the way that we did helped keep us, and many other people going. For that to be recognised and for Curry Life to see what we were doing is so uplifting.
We asked Abu about his desire to give back to the community. “It’s something ingrained in our industry, our culture too. If others are suffering, we have an instinct to help.”
Abdul Hay – iNaga Restaurant, West Wickham
“We feel very proud and appreciated. Many people in our industry put their lives on the line to help the needy. But we had to find ways to give back and help in any way we could.”
We asked Abdul about the UK Curry Industry’s commitment to helping others during the pandemic and why they felt compelled to help. “I think lots of us were open because we changed to takeaway, we were in a position to help – and we had to do something.”
“I want to thank Curry Life for this honour. Since getting it I’ve had 1500 positive comments on Facebook! Curry Life made us a local legend!”
Zakir Khan – Zyka Restaurant, Reading
“I feel amazing to be selected for this special recognition. We didn’t expect or do it for recognition, but for a small restaurant this is huge achievement for us and our gratitude goes to Curry Life.”Zak went on to tell us: “The recognition is really going to help us as we head into the New Year and this virus dissipates. The response has been incredible. It’s getting pride of place with the other awards we’re lucky enough to have.”
“Curry restaurants are often in small communities and I think this is what’s caused many of us to help. We know these people and hate to see them struggle. We’ll continue to help where we can.”
Gyash Uddin – Fusion Foods, Markyate, St Albans
Gyash Uddin told Curry Life, “I’m delighted to get this special honour from Curry Life. But it’s all thanks to our customers that we are still here and keeping us going strength to strength.”
“It’s amazing to know we’re appreciated so much by our local customers. It’s a tough time for the Curry Industry and we are grateful Curry Life supported us. It was only right that we do what we can for those in need.”
It’s so sad we’ve lost so many lives, I’ve lost friends, even friends in this industry. I hope next year, thanks to our vaccine, we won’t need to worry anymore this year. Until then, we’re proud to step up and help where we can. And we will continue to do so.”
Askor Ali – Mahaan Restaurant, Worthing
“Great achievement to be given this Covid Curry Award by Curry Life, a wonderful privilege to receive it.”
We asked Askor why he feels like the UK Curry Industry has been so kind during the pandemic. He said, “The Curry Industry is a much bigger industry and it is right that we do offer our help the needy and vulnerable. We are proud as a British Bangladeshi Restaurant Business that we were able to offer the help. He went on to tell business about how he thinks life will change, “We think this pandemic will only bring out the good in people. The world has changed; social distancing may actually bring us closer. It’s made people see what’s important. Those who can’t see their families this year will appreciate it all the more next year.”
Syed Zohorul Islam – The Capital, Durham
Syed Islam from The Capital restaurant in Durham told Curry Life, “I’m so grateful to be acknowledged this way by Curry Life. Thank you for recognising us, we also thank our customers for helping us do what we did.”
He went on to say, “Things were really hard at first, we changed to serving takeaway only but soon realised we wanted to support the NHS. My GP has known me for forty years; it was nice to finally do something for him. I think the vaccine will definitely help us all to get back to normal in a few months.”
Jalal Uddin Ahmed -Shozna Restaurant, Rochester, Kent
Jalal from Shozna Restaurant told Curry Life, “We feel great to be given this recognition from the Curry Life Magazine. Even now we are still helping the NHS and care workers.
“Our local community has kept us going and made us successful over the years, so now it’s time to give back to them and show them we appreciate them.”
We asked Jalal about his plans now that he’s been given the Covid Curry Hero Award. He said, “I want people to know about the Covid Curry Hero recognition, because we’re very proud of it. Many of our customers have congratulated us.”
Razaul Karim – Spice Club, Bridgewater
Razaul Karim, on behalf of Spice Club told Curry Life, “Community is so important. This is why we felt compelled to help others during the pandemic. We saw NHS staff having no days off and working flat out, so we decided to get into our kitchen and help them get through it in any way we could.”
We asked Razaul if the recognition from Curry Life will help business when the pandemic is over. He said, “You never know, people appreciate what we have been doing during the pandemic. But we didn’t do it for recognition, community is what matters most, community is what helps businesses and we need to stand by the community”
Matin Khan – Itihaas Restaurant, Dalkeith
Speaking about the Covid Curry Heroes Award, Matin Khan told us, “We’re very honoured. It raised our morale very high. We really appreciate the recognition and honestly didn’t think anyone had noticed until Curry Life contacted us.”
We asked Matin how he got involved, he said, “So many people who were confused when things started happening. I realised that we had food and they needed help getting it. I’d see doctors and nurses stopping by for food, tired after their shifts. I’m glad we made a difference to them.”
Jhaal Contemporary Indian Cuisine, Colchester
Mashukar told us, “The Covid Curry Heroes Recognition was a great idea. It was amazing to be one of the restaurants included in this special honour”.
He went on to tell us about how positive the response from his customers has been. “We’ve got it prominently displayed at the restaurant so customers can see it and ask about it.”
We’ll take time to celebrate our achievement in the New Year when things calm down. But for now, I just want to thank Curry Life for recognising us.
Lal Hussain – Anoka Restaurant, Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Mr Hussain told Curry Life:
“We were delighted to be recognised by Curry Life. I think there are some misconceptions about Curry Industry in general. We are very committed, kind hearted and resilient people. We have displayed and shown our kindness to support our NHS, care workers, vulnerable people during this global pandemic. No pandemic can change them doing what is right and appropriate. That is what we have done during this difficult time.
“We are grateful to those who have considered us to be worthy of this unique and special recognition and this is an achievement for the whole of the hard working team at the Anoka Restaurant,” Mr Hussain added.
Surman Ali – Deshi Spice Restaurant, Bedford
“We as a family battled to cope during the coronavirus. We are very grateful to Curry Life for this special recognition during this turbulent time for business.” We dedicate this Special Recognition to all our team members at the Deshi Spice Bedford for their hard work during the challenging time of the pandemic.