By Dave Barry
Scarborough Tandoori restaurant has raised about £6,400 for Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Burma (also known as Myanmar).
Nearly half the money came from a charity lunch, the rest through donations.
The 150 adults and children present included representatives of every Indian restaurant in the town and people who travelled from Leeds, Hull and Scunthorpe.
The restaurant met the cost of the meal so that every single penny of the money raised would go to the refugees in Bangladesh, where many of the Tandoori staff are from or have family.
“According to the UN, the Rohingya are the most persecuted people in the world at the moment”, say Alkas Ali and Abul Ali, partners at the restaurant in St Thomas Street.
Alkas plans to visit the main refugee camp in mid-November, to gain first-hand experience of the situation and ensure that the money raised reaches the right places.
He will be paying his own expenses; 100% of donations will go to refugee relief.
Alkas plans to return to the refugee camp in October 2018 with UK volunteers.
Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, visited the main Rohingya refugee camp and described the situation as “one of the fastest moving and largest refugee emergencies in the world”.
He said: “In my career, I have hardly ever seen people arriving in the country of asylum with so little. They had to flee [from] very sudden and cruel violence. Their needs are enormous - food, health, shelter.
“One important feature of this emergency that needs to be stressed is how much trauma these people carry with them. I’ve met women that have been raped or wounded because they resisted rape. I’ve met children that have witnessed the killing of their parents and I’ve met, of course, many many children that have lost contact with their families, perhaps because they have been killed or because they have been lost in the big crowd crossing the border. This is not a short-term emergency and we need the help of all of you”.
Donations can be made at Scarborough Tandoori during opening hours.