The Curry Tree Charitable Fund
The Curry Tree is not a charity in its own right but a charitable fund with trustees raising money for specified causes and onward transmission of funds raised to appropriate charities and NGOs. The Pakistan floods have been the focus of 2010/11 and will be Find Your Feet and water aide for 2013 onwards unless there is a major natural disaster.
Over the past 16 years National Curry Week has raised funds for numerous charities, the most recent being Action Against Hunger and Oxfam. In 2009 organiser Peter Grove decided it would be more effective to focus and target our efforts to drastically improve our contribution to helping to alleviate the plight of the malnourished, starving and poor of South East Asia and the world.
The Curry Tree Project is named after the small tree which carries the curry leaf so much enjoyed in dishes throughout Britain and worldwide. The Curry Tree or Kadipatta or Sweet Neem leaf.(Murraya koenigii; syn. Bergera koenigii, Chalcas koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, which is native to India. Its leaves are highly aromatic and are used as a herb. Various biological activities of Murraya koenigii include antidiabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-hypercholesterolemic.
The Curry Tree is quite small(up to 6m high) but of an importance way beyond its size which seems fit in well with the thinking behind the creation of The Curry Tree Project as a charitable fund.
In 1808 Dean Mahomed from Patna, Bihar, settled in Portman Square in what is now London's West End. A year later he opened the first Indian restaurant in Britain - The Hindostanee Coffee House - just round the corner in George Street. It was aimed at Anglo-Indians for the "enjoyment of Hookha, with 'real chilm tobacco', and Indian dishes 'in the highest perfection, and allowed by the greatest epicures to be unequalled to any curries ever made in England', in a setting decorated with Indian and Oriental scenes. The food was good - the setting was good - the time was wrong. Three years later he was bankrupt.
Over 200 hundred years later curry houses have become very much part of the fabric of British life with Chicken Tikka Masala being famously described as our national dish by onetime Foreign Secretary the late Robin Cook. From that 1 restaurant in 1809 the industry has grown to some 9500 today generating huge amounts for the exchequer and employing close to 100,000 people.
Over that 200 plus year period the industry has served over 2.5 billion people - a figure to be exceeded in just 20 years to come - and over £30 billion has been spent on food alone, a figure that will be beaten in the coming 15 years. During these 200 years people have consumed nearly 5 billion poppadums and 400 million portions of Chicken Tikka Masala.
These are the staggering figures that have made their mark on the social fabric of Britain and have become part of our culture.
Some 23 million people (over a third of the population) in Britain eat out on a regular basis and most of these enjoy a restaurant curry on one or more occasion whilst millions of other get takeaways, cook at home or buy ready made from the supermarket.
Why the Project?
* In 2000 the United Nations stated that over 800 million men, women and children are denied the most basic human right of all ; the right to food.
* Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds.
* In 2005, almost 1.4 billion people lived below the international poverty line, earning less than $1.25 per day.
At least 18.7 million people were affected by the Pakistan Flood Disaster alone with 10 million in need of humanitarian assistance. 2000 died and there was an estimated $43 billion of damage. It is to help such disasters and malnourishment and poverty issues around the world that The Curry Tree Project was set up. As a charitable fund its aim is to raise as much as possible to support NGOs and charities focusing on our target areas. As an addition we will be including special focus on Water Projects in less developed parts of the world such as Bangladesh with 1.4 million children dying from water-related diseases every year worldwide.