A generous ‘gift’ this Ramadan
Restaurant manager takes food to those most in need
Serving up meals to customers in Leeds is what Tauseef Malik has loved doing all his working life.
In his role as manager at Leeds’ Mumtaz Restaurant, he has seen thousands of diners walk through his doors hungry and leave satisfied following the consumption of a trademark dish.
However, following a visit to Pakistan in May, the 25-year-old from Bradford says his eyes were opened to a ‘different kind of hunger’, motivating him to take action overseas.
He explained: “Whilst on my visit to Pakistan, a lady approached me in my village. She told me how she had TB and did not have enough money for treatment as her husband was blind.
“She said that she had to clean people’s houses to support her three children and her husband. Some days they didn’t even have enough food, so all her family would go to sleep on an empty stomach.
“This made me realise just how these people were living in Pakistan. With Ramadan coming closer I thought how difficult it must be for these families to fast, with very little or no food.”
Having also visited an orphanage in the South Asian country, Tauseef says he made it his goal to do something for these people to ‘look forward to and enjoy’.
Tauseef returned to the UK the following week and instantly began his own project which looked at creating ‘Ramadan food packages’ for people in Pakistan.
Raising funds through friends and family, plus contributing a large sum himself, he was able to create food parcels to feed over 200 houses with all types of ingredients such as flour, rice, chickpeas and dates all included.
“In England we wake up in the morning with the thought of how we should spend our day, whether that’s shopping, buying the latest phones and following the latest fashion trends, whilst these people wake up wondering whether they will be able to feed their families, whether they will have enough food to eat for that day,” Tauseef added.
“I thought to myself, ‘these people not only fast but have to work in the month of Ramadan’ and I saw it with my own eyes how hard it was for them. This is when I thought I want to help them, and make it easier for them especially in the month of Ramadan.”
At the start of June, Tauseef returned to Pakistan with his truck load of food and was able to distribute the goods out to families in some of the poorest areas.
As part of the trip, the charitable Yorkshireman also invited all the children from the nearby orphanage to his accomodation for a special dinner before presenting them with a year supply of food.
There was even a surprise gift for each child.
Tauseef explained: “I took all the children from the orphanage shopping one day, and they all chose their own Eid outfit, it was the best feeling to see the smile on their faces.
“Inshallah i hope to do this every year for Ramadan for more people and more poor houses, and I would just like to thank my family and friends for all their help and support.
“Without them i would not have been able to help so many people and a special thank you to the Rossis Ice Cream Company.
“I would like to take this opportunity to please ask people to help the poor families that live in Pakistan and many other countries, many of these people do not ask for help but really need it.”