Acid attack survivors to run cafe in Taj city

  • Hemendra Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, Agra
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2014 20:57 IST

Women power will drive a first-of-its-kind cafeteria in Taj city soon. To be run by acid attack survivors and christened as ‘Café Sheroes Hangout’, the outlet is being supported by the organisation ‘Stop Acid Attack’, which hopes to launch the cafe in the first week of October before taking the concept to Delhi.

“Raising funds repeatedly to help acid attack survivors was turning out to be a cumbersome exercise and thus we thought of making these people self dependent through this idea,” stated Aseem Trivedi, who shot to fame with his controversial political cartoons against corruption.

“Most of these survivors often do not get married and thus bringing in a sense of self reliance in them is important so that they find a place in the mainstream. With women power running these cafés, we thought of replacing the word ‘heroes’ with ‘sheroes’ and thus these outlets are to be named Cafe Sheroes Hangouts,” said Aseem from ‘Stop Acid Attack’.

On Friday, the group from this organisation was at the venue on Fatehabad Road, planning the installation of the café and to assist ‘Rangsaaz’ – a group of activists expressing their views through their paintings. “The idea is to have graffiti on the interior and exterior walls suiting the very concept behind café run by acid attack victims,” explained Alok Dixit, another activist.

“There will be a library in the café. We also plan to have regular meetings of women activists, documentary presentations and visits by other activists to make this outlet popular amongst Agra residents as we have to look towards viability of the concept,” added Dixit.

These activists plan to begin the café from the first week of October before moving to Delhi with the idea. “The inauguration would be a three-day affair -- a day for music, literature and art each -- to highlight the concept behind the ‘Cafe Sheroes Hangout’, said Aseem who was confident that the outlet -- located near the Taj Mahal -- would become a centre of activists and an attraction for tourists.

“We thought of beginning from Agra and then take the concept to Delhi. Four acid attack survivors (women) would manage the café in Agra with ‘Stop Acid Attack’ extending support to them,” said Anurag Diwedi while detailing about the 1,200 sq ft area venue. He was accompanied by Alok Dixit, Abhilash Shukla and Chetan Gupta from ‘Stop Acid Attack’ organisation.

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