Lucknow Sheroes Café ownership: Acid attack survivors fear another bout of trauma

Reshma, a mother of six and an acid attack survivor associated with the famous Sheroes Cafe, was a happy-go-lucky lady until Monday evening when a few ‘musclemen’ barged into the cafe and ‘threatened’ her and the other staffers to vacate the place, saying they were going to be the new owners of the cafe.

lucknow Updated: Aug 11, 2018 14:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow Sheroes Cafe,Ownership,Lucknow
Sheroes Cafe, run by Chhanv Foundation(Stop Acid Attacks), opened in Lucknow in 2016.(HT Photo)

Reshma, a mother of six and an acid attack survivor associated with the famous Sheroes Cafe, was a happy-go-lucky lady until Monday evening when a few ‘musclemen’ barged into the cafe and ‘threatened’ her and the other staffers to vacate the place, saying they were going to be the new owners of the cafe.

Some of them said the café ownership would be handed over to them in about 25 days by when the tender process for the place would be complete.

“We participated in the tender process along with three other firms. The employees of one of the three firms reached the cafe on Monday and told the staffers that they (firm) would soon get ownership of the café,” alleged Alok Dixit, founder member of Chhanv Foundation that runs the café.

The incident shocked Reshma, who said it would be no less than pushing them back into the trauma and agony they had struggled come out from.

“This cafe is our life. I don’t know the veracity of their (musclemen) claim. But what I know is that this cafe gave me a new life and purpose to live after I suffered an acid attack,” said Reshma, who is employed here since 2016 — the year the café, run by Chhanv Foundation (Stop Acid Attacks), opened in Lucknow.

In 2013, Reshma’s husband had attacked her with acid on her private parts. She was then pregnant and a mother of five girls. It took almost three years for her treatment and to come out of the trauma. But another challenge before her was to meet the financial needs of her six children.

“It was then that the Sheroes Cafe came to my rescue and offered me a job,” said Reshma, who is kitchen in-charge. She said the cafe’s closure or change of ownership could again bring misery to her family.

Along with Reshma, the 11 other acid attack survivors working at the café are in a fix over the fate of the joint.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 14:25 IST