Restau­rant owner in plea to help feed city home­less

Evening Times - - NEWS - By AFTAB ALI

THE owner of a pop­u­lar Glas­gow restau­rant who has dished out nearly 1000 meals to the home­less is call­ing on other busi­nesses to fol­low suit.

Muham­mad Sul­tan, 39, who runs Char­coals In­dian restau­rant in Ren­field Street, started the ini­tia­tive in Au­gust af­ter be­com­ing in­creas­ingly con­cerned with the ris­ing num­ber of rough sleep­ers in and around Glas­gow.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported by the Evening Times, Mr Sul­tan is con­tin­u­ing to in­vite the home­less com­mu­nity to his restau­rant ev­ery Mon­day and Tues­day af­ter­noon where they are given home­made food pack­ages.

How­ever, he knows much more has to be done and is urg­ing other busi­nesses to link up to end hunger in the city cen­tre.

Mr Sul­tan’s plea comes just two days af­ter he was recog­nised for out­stand­ing achieve­ment for char­ity at the Asian Curry Awards, a cer­e­mony held in May­fair.

He said: “Just to be recog­nised was ap­pre­ci­ated. But I don’t need fame. I just want to help set an ex­am­ple for oth­ers that they, too, can do the same.

“I want to see other restau­rants in Glas­gow come to­gether to help out, even it was just a hand­ful. We could all take a cou­ple of days a week each in which to give food out.”

He ex­plained how he has al­ways sup­ported char­ity work for most of his life and de­cided to take the leap and start his own in na­tive Pak­istan last year.

In May, the restau­ra­teur used his per­sonal sav­ings to travel to his fam­ily’s home city of La­hore to feed and clothe hun­dreds of peo­ple in need dur­ing the holy month of Ra­madan.

In the last month, along with help from fam­ily and friends, he has helped to feed and clothe close to 700 fam­i­lies.

The idea for the project in Glas­gow came to him af­ter pass­ing by the home­less in the city. He said: “They some­times spend the whole day and night in the cold and rain and it made me think just how much we take for granted.

“They come into my restau­rant and we hear their sto­ries. There has been talk that the peo­ple who come may not be home­less, but if some­one needs food, they need it. I might not be able to give them shel­ter, but I can give them food. No-one should ever go hun­gry.”

Mr Sul­tan high­lighted plans to do even more for Glas­gow’s home­less in what is thought to be a Scot­land-first. He wants to be able to ex­pand the food ini­tia­tive so that it will be of­fered seven days a week.

He said: “We don’t just eat for two days a week, do we? We eat for seven. Ev­ery­one should have that, no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stance.”

Mr Sul­tan is cur­rently on the look­out for a big­ger kitchen which would al­low him to of­fer food all week round and hopes he will be able to do so by the end of Jan­uary. “If not, I’ll equip my own kitchen at home where my fam­ily will help me to make as much food as pos­si­ble,” he said.

Muham­mad Sul­tan called on other restau­rant own­ers in Glas­gow help end hunger in the city cen­tre

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