London: Ravi Khurmy, the owner of a
supermarket in Ealing Green, was among the many Indian-origin
businessmen who were hit by the recent riots and are
struggling to rebuild their lives.
Khurmy, 40, own the Local Supermarket, which was looted
extensively before it was set on fire on Tuesday last. Many of
the flats above the supermarket were also affected and are
reported to be uninhabitable.
Khurmy told BBC: "I am losing thousands of pounds a day.
I`m living off my savings until the insurance money comes
through - which I`m hoping will be in a couple of weeks` time
- but it could be four to six months until we are able to
He added: "I`m absolutely gutted - thinking about it
makes my heart sink."
Another Asian affected was Zakar Hussain, 35, who four
months ago started his Green Mango cafe, which is next to
He said: "I`m beyond upset - I put so much blood, sweat
and effort into setting up this business, and now, through no
fault of my own, it`s totally destroyed".
He said he had invested over 100,000 pounds in the cafe.
He said: "Now there is water everywhere from putting the
fire out, soot everywhere, the whole place smells of burning.
We`ve still got no electricity or gas. I`ve spoken to my
insurance company and I hope they are going to cover
everything, but we can`t do anything until there is a roof,
until it`s air tight.
I`m stuck in limbo. I don`t know where the next pay
cheque is going to come from, and I`ve got a mortgage and
employees to take care of."
Hussain, however, said he hoped to soon return to normal
with the help from many people in the local community.
He said: "I`m not going to be let down by criminals.
This was just a small minority, most of the young people
around here are good and polite. And the local community has
been very supportive."
Also affected in the riots were an Indian couple - Lisy
George and Binu Mathew - who migrated to Britain five years
ago and are now planning to return to Kerala.
They were physically attacked and their food shop looted
and destroyed in Croydon on last Monday night.