Restaurant owner in plea to help feed city homeless
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