5 Socially Inclusive Cafes In India That Are Here To Make A Difference

The world is continuously inventing models to help the underprivileged live with dignity. Likewise, these socially inclusive cafes in India are employing the disadvantaged. By Yagnoseni Das

Social inequality has always been a pressing issue for India. Especially when it comes to survivors and differently-abled people. People with abusive pasts have always faced difficulties in going back to the normalcy of life. In most cases, it is because of the deep instilled trauma within them, society’s lack of acceptance and empathy, or sometimes it could simply be the lack of job opportunities. Similarly, differently-abled people struggle to be a part of the earning section of society due to their physical limitations or sometimes due to the prevalent myths and taboos.

Therefore, it is crucial we make contributions towards making the world an easier place to live in for the disadvantaged.

Taking the lead in making these contributions are these five socially inclusive cafes in India that have made remarkable marks through their staffing policy. By employing the hearing and speech impaired, acid attack survivors, burn survivors, and the HIV Positive community, these cafes continue to make their lives better.

Here are 5 socially inclusive cafes in India

Sheroes Hangout, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Founded by Chhanv Foundation, this café has a staff of acid attack survivors. The women working here are considered as ‘Sheroes’ (read She+Heroes) and have visible scarred skin and bruises from their abusive pasts. However, they have gloriously pulled themselves back up and have immersed themselves in their new career.

Sheroes Hangout cafe was started to empower the victims so they can face the world with dignity and pride while also learning valuable career skills. Located in the heart of Gomti Nagar in Lucknow, the cafe has amassed great reviews from their customers for their service and food.

Address: Opposite Dr. BR Ambedkar Park, Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226010

Image: Sheroes Hangout

Writer's Cafe, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

The cafe has garnered a considerable amount of popularity not just for its cosy library-like interiors or the wide options of books the customers can choose from while sipping on their coffee but also because of the staff that comprises victims of abuse. The brainchild of restaurateur M. Mahadevan and International Foundation For Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), Writer’s Cafe was launched in 2016.  The mission of this initiative is to make their employees live dignified and financially stable lives.

Moreover, the employees are also made to take a three-month training program to learn baking, ice cream manufacturing, cooking etc. Depending upon their area of interest they are given the position within that particular domain. PCVC has also appointed counsellors for the survivors working in all six outlets in the city to address and overcome any of their underlying issues.

Address: 127, Peters Rd, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086

Image: Writer’s Cafe

Terrasinne, Pune, Maharashtra

The first of its kind in Pune, Terrasinne has about 20 hearing and speech impaired people working under its roof. Dr Sonam, an oncologist, launched this restaurant with the aim to let people with impaired hearing and speech have a career, just like any other able-bodied person.

The servers at Terrasinne restaurant use sign language to take orders from their customers. And the creatively designed menu has different signs printed beside each dish to make it easier for the customers to communicate their orders to the staff.

Apart from the great cause and service the restaurant offers an extensive menu with both Indian and global cuisine.

Address: Bhosale Heights, Terrasinne- 10, Tukaram Paduka Chowk, Fergusson College Rd, Pune, Maharashtra 411005

Image: Terrasinne

Café Positive, Kolkata, West Bengal

Located in a garage in Jodhpur Park Bazaar in Kolkata lies a safe haven for an often shunned and misunderstood community of HIV Positive people. This safe haven is called Cafe Positive and is run by HIV Positive youth.

The youth that man the cafe was abandoned by their own families upon finding out that they have tested positive for HIV. An NGO called Offer helped these youngsters get shelter in Anandaghar, a home for HIV Positive people.

The kitchen of the cafe has hired cooks operating it while the HIV Positive staff maintains accounts, cleans tables and serves the customers. The cafe also has a glass wall separating the dining area and the kitchen so that the customers have a full view of how the food and beverages are being prepared.

Address: 64A, Lake View Rd, Lake Terrace, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700029

Image: Cafe Positive

Mirchi & Mime, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Another restaurant that has pushed for a social change by employing people with hearing and speech impairments is Mumbai‘s trendy and beloved dining space called Mirchi & Mime. The restaurant has at least 50 employees working for it. The staff communicates with their customers through basic sign language and the customers place their orders using sign language as instructed clearly in the menu for each dish. Also, about 50 meters away lies its restaurant pub called Madeira & Mime with similar staffing. Thanks to its amazing food and commendable social message, the place is always bustling with customers, even on the weekdays.

Address: Transocean House, Lake Blvd Rd, Hiranandani Gardens, MHADA Colony 19, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076

Image: Shutterstock

5 Socially Inclusive Cafes In India That Are Here To Make A Difference
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