Cafes around India are quickly becoming a great way for people of our society, who are usually discriminated against, to earn a good living and mingle with the community.
What this is doing is allowing such people a livelihood along with also dispelling a lot of previously held stereotypes by the communities at large.
With the staff of such cafes usually comprising of the discriminated section of society, it allows for both the common sector and this one to come together and break wrong perceptions.
And more than anything, it instills a sense of purpose and builds self-esteem for the discriminated groups who are often turned away from normal establishments based on prejudices against them.
Ranjana Kumari, a social activitist and the director of the NGO, Centre for Social Research in Delhi, has commented on this phenomenon by saying that, “It also makes survivor stories a positive example — for other survivors, and for those who want to help and don’t know how.”
Thus, a lot of cafes across the country are popping up that have acid attack victims, people with disabilities like being blind, deaf and more and even HIV positive people as their staff. Here we take a look at some of them:
#1. Beti Zindabad Bakery, Jashpur
The ‘Beti Zindabad Bakery’ opened its doors on Independence Day in 2017 in the Jashpur region of Chattisgarh and is run by survivors of human trafficking.
The bakery, that is located in the Kansabel village of Jashpur, is supposedly doing good business with last Christmas seeing a lot of customers coming their way.
#2. Mitti Cafe’s, Hubli
Located in the Hubli region of Karnataka, the Mitti Cafe was founded by Alina Alam with the first cafe opening in August 2017.
It is supposedly known for employing only people who are physically or mentally challenged and currently runs 6 outlets that are employing 36 employees with a variety of issues like autism, Asperger’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis and more.
#3. Taste of Darkness, Hyderabad and Bengaluru
Started as part of the ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ initiative by Andreas Heinecke, it gives customers a brief glimpse of life with a visual disability. By giving dining experience and tours in the dark, its objective is to make common people sensitive to having a visual impairment.
All the employees that are a part of these cafes are either blind or visually challenged, and them serving you and working around truly makes you realise that having a disability does not limit them in any way.
#4. Cafe Positive, Kolkata
Cafe Positive will be opening soon in the Lake Garden area of south Kolkata after much trials and tribulations mostly because of the controversial nature of their employees.
The issue being that the staff is made up of 10 teenagers who are all HIV positive and will be performing a myriad of roles from working in the kitchen, handling the accounts, cleaning, serving the customers and more.
This is perhaps the first such cafe in the whole of India which will have HIV positive staff and was founded by Kallol Gosh who is also the founder of NGO Offer. The idea behind such a cafe was to make the teenaged staff financially independent and self-sufficient.
#5. Sheroes Hangout, Agra
‘Sheroes Hangout’ in Agra of Uttar Pradesh is popular for employing acid attack survivors. The cafe was started by former journalists Alok Dixit and Ashish Shukla in October of 2014.
They have recently also opened up another outlet in Lucknow and their aim is to basically create confidence in the survivors of an acid attack by giving them a means of earning a good livelihood.
Not only are the servers survivors but the cafe also offers various art and crafts created by the employees up for sale along with also hosting performances from other survivors and all.
Image Credits: Google Images
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