You might have visited some good cafes in your town. Now it’s time that you add this one to your list. Located in Agra, Sheroes Hangout is making a buzz for all the good reasons.
The cafe is run by five women — Laxmi, Rupa, Chanchal, Ritu and Sonam — who have all survived acid attacks.
With help from NGO Chhaya Foundation, they opened the cafe. It took them almost a month to come up with an initial investment of about Rs.3 lakh, much of which was done through crowdfunding.
The cafe has an air of informality and warmth, aided by bamboo furniture and Bollywood music. A large pin board is decorated with objects like chowmein, makeup and mobiles — all excuses for crimes against women, including rape, by individuals and bodies like khap panchayats. The cafe also has a library and a mini-boutique which displays clothes designed by 22-year-old Rupa from Muzaffarnagar.
The food at Sheroes Hangout is prepared with love. Also, you pay as you choose.
The cafe plans to become a centre of various activities. The cafe would also have handicrafts and a centre of weekly or monthly meetings of the members of the NGO to review the work of the cafe and also the campaign.
The owners also plan to train other local survivors to manage the business.
Providing a source of income to the survivors, who come from poor families, the cafe has been able to carry its own weight. Seventy per cent of the visitors are foreign tourists who are both sympathetic and generous.
The foundation which helped these survivors with their rehabilitation project is also planning to open similar cafes in Delhi, Kanpur and Ludhiana. Sources: Outlook