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Scottish Indian Restaurant helps keep national legacy alive

Edinburgh-based, Indian restaurant, Chaskaa, has responded to a call to help develop an Indian hospital which was founded by a Scottish doctor almost a century ago.

The hospital, named after Dr Cecil Duncan, the Duncan Hospital, is built in one of the poorest states in northern India, Bihar. Because of its location, and the surrounding poverty, it struggles to attract qualified staff in sufficient numbers. However, EMMS International, Scotland’s international healthcare charity has a bold vision to ensure the hospital continues to serve patients on the Indo-Nepal border. The plan involves training hundreds of vulnerable women and girls as nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals, and to do this a new College of Nursing and Halls of Residence are needed.

The Scottish charity recently co-opted the support of celebrity chef Tony Singh, who called for help from the Scottish community to raise the final £360,000 needed to complete the £4.5M project.

Chaskaa is the first Indian restaurant in Scotland to launch a Dine and Donate fundraiser, whereby the restaurant will donate 20p for every meal ordered at the restaurant mid-week.

Chaskaa restaurant owner, Rajesh Sharma said, ‘Chaskaa as an organization has a strong belief in giving back to society. When we started our operations in Edinburgh, the whole world was affected by the outburst of COVID. As a newly opened restaurant, it wasn't easy for, not just us, but the entire hospitality business to cope. Despite increased running expenses, the limitations on keeping the restaurant open, or only being allowed to operate via deliveries, we were welcomed wholeheartedly by the locals, and their support meant we were able to grow and keep our doors open. And, here we are today, considered among the best Indian restaurants in Edinburgh.’

He said of the business’s involvement with the Duncan Hospital, ‘It’s a social responsibility campaign that we as a business are honoured to be part to help those most in need. EMMS International is a great charity and we believe that the initiative of supporting the systems to provide medical assistance to people living in northern India or Nepal, is a great thing to do. Ultimately, we will be contributing to fighting sickness and poverty for those in need at Duncan Hospital.’

Laura Brown, of EMMS International said, ‘We are delighted that Chaskaa are coming on board to help us raise the final amounts needed to complete this bold project and keep the legacy of Scottish medicine alive overseas. Scottish medicine has a proud history of being world leading, and by doubling down on our efforts, we hope that by 2026, the Duncan Hospital will be equipped with the facilities to train degree nurses and healthcare professionals and deliver quality healthcare to some of the world’s poorest communities. We hope to have many more Indian and Nepalese restaurants throughout the UK, helping us on our mission.’


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