D Cafe near Bhawani Chauraha, Jankipuram, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, December 19, 2019.(Dheeraj Dhawan/Hindustan Times)
D Cafe near Bhawani Chauraha, Jankipuram, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, December 19, 2019.(Dheeraj Dhawan/Hindustan Times)

Now, kids with multiple challenges to help run cafe in Lucknow

Now, children with multiple disabilities will set an example of courage and resolve much like the brave acid attack survivors running the Sheroes Cafe in the state capital.
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By Rajeev Mullick
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2019 03:24 PM IST

Now, children with multiple disabilities will set an example of courage and resolve much like the brave acid attack survivors running the Sheroes Cafe in the state capital. From this week, kids suffering from conditions such as cerebral palsy and autism will assist the staff of a cafe here, taking orders from customers and serving them with hot meals.

Drishti Samajik Sansthan — home to over 200 abandoned children facing multiple challenges — has trained kids with mild and moderate disorders in the skills required for helping the staff at ‘D Café’, which will be inaugurated by the women and child welfare minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi at Jankipuram extension, near Bhawani crossing, on January 25 (Friday).

Shalu Singh and Atharv Bahadur of Drishti Samajik Sansthan, who have supervised the kids’ training, said that they would be assisting the cafe staff for about two to three hours a day. “The initiative will help them interact with new people, learn the skills needed for running a business, develop confidence and move towards self-sufficiency,” said Atharv.

Shalu added: “Often students with multiple disabilities face extreme limitations in their ability to walk, talk and engage with people. They may also have severe cognitive challenges. We have trained these children using a range of specialised tools. They also benefit from peer tutoring and, when possible, regular school activities and events.”

Among those gearing up for this challenge are Anjali, 14, and Pooja,15 — both suffering from mental retardation. Another special child, Poonam, 12, is undergoing training in taking orders and serving customers.

“As their mentors, it is our responsibility to not only help them overcome their disabilities, but also make them understand how they can bring about a positive change in their life. We are happy to see that they have defied their challenges and are eagerly awaiting the opening of the cafe,” said Atharv.

“This is a unique concept where children with multiple disabilities will take ownership of the café,” said Saurabh Chaurasia, area incharge of Amul. The company is supporting Drishti and its president Dhiresh Bahadur in this initiative.

The children of Drishti continuously strive to defeat their disabilities and take new strides. Last year, during Raksha Bandhan, they had let their creativity shine by making beautiful rakhis that were supplied to various organisations and individuals. They had also managed to earn around Rs 12,000 through sales.

Also, these special kids hit the bull’s-eye when four members of their shooting team qualified the pre-state championship organised by the UP State Rifle Association in Noida, last year. Later, they also participated in the state level championship.

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