This inspiring news come to us from Varanasi, India.
When people were busy giving gifts and flowers to their partner on Valentine’s day, somewhere in the whole wide world, there were acid attack survivors who were feeling elated.
An India today group initiative namely Care Today Fund joined hands with the Action Aid Association (AAA) and came up with a cafe in Varanasi and it brought smiles on the faces of five acid attack survivors. The cafe namely “The Orange Cafe and Restaurant” will be run by acid attack survivors and it has happened for the first time that these survivors have been named owners of the cafe.
With a goal to raise opportunities for socially neglected ladies, the cafe has been set up in Durga Kund area. Sangeeta, who co-owns the cafe along with other 4 girls was attacked when she was only 16. She didn’t succumb to the eve teasing by a local and he threw acid in rage. Coming from a poor family, Sangeeta’s parents couldn’t afford to get her good treatment and she is extremely happy to have received this bright opportunity to become financially independent.
Another girl namely Shannu Sonkar was attacked by her neighbour because he had a dispute with Shannu’s father due to property. Unable to get her girl treated, when Shannu’s father begged for help, his brothers told him that out of his 6 daughters if 1 dies, it won’t really make a difference. Shannu who aspires to become a journalist is hopeful that if one door has opened, other doors will open too.
I have done mass communication from Chennai. I want to be a journalist. In cafes run in Lucknow and other cities, the acid attack survivors are given salaries but here we have been given ownership rights.” Shannu said.
Kumari, also a co-owner at the cafe said that she is happy to know that she will now be able to support her sister and mother with her income.
AAA members have played a vital role by training the girls in cooking and motivating them to come forward. The profits from the cafe will be equally distributed among the five survivors. It is definitely one of the best social initiatives till date and these girls have never been more happier.
Image Source: India Today