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8 Million Free Meals

~ Dishoom Manchester ~ 25th Jan 2020

At the top corner of every menu at the fantastic Dishoom Indian restaurant inside Manchester Hall, is a pledge: "For each and every meal you eat at Dishoom, we donate a meal to a child."


This gesture was first made as a ‘zakat’ (act of charity) at their London branch during Ramadan in 2015, and they made it permanent during Diwali the same year.


For every meal served at Dishoom, they donate a meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal.



Dishoom Manchester



Today, they have announced that, to date, an astonishing 8 million meals have been donated to children in poverty in the UK and India, leaving them undistracted by hunger and eager to learn.


These free school meals are delivered by two brilliant charities – Magic Breakfast in the UK and The Akshaya Patra Foundation in India


Opened in December 2018, inside Manchester's historic Manchester Hall - the former masonic lodge - Dishoom Manchester pays homage to the freemasons of 1830's India  and the Irani cafés of 20th Century Bombay, which were opened by Zoroastrian immigrants fleeing Islamic persecution in Iran.


Dishoom has always broken down barriers, just as these old Irani cafés of Bombay did; they were the first places where people of any culture, class or religion could break bread together.



Dishoom Manchester



Still today, shared spaces and experiences mean less violence and less hatred, and during the Partition in 1960, Bombay was spared the bloodshed of Delhi and Calcutta, thanks in part to the culture created by the Irani cafés. 


Today, more than ever, Dishoom believe that breaking down barriers is hugely important work.


They encourage Muslims and non-Muslims to celebrate Eid, and Hindus and non-Hindus to celebrate Diwali. They tie Knots of Protection on each other, bringing people from all cultures and all walks of life together in the restaurant.


They also believe that when hunger is a barrier to education, it also becomes a barrier to social mobility. A child that is not fed can become a teenager that did not learn and an adult that stays in poverty. They care deeply about breaking down these barriers.


8 million free meals later, they are certainly helping achieve that goal.



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