Food for thought: This cafe in Navi Mumbai hires transgender staff

Published on Dec 28, 2017 09:57 AM IST
The cafe currently has six transgender employees, four of whom work as table attendants, one is in the kitchen, while one works as the manager.
This may be the first restaurant in the country to have such a large proportion of transgender staff.(Bachchan Kumar)
This may be the first restaurant in the country to have such a large proportion of transgender staff.(Bachchan Kumar)
Hindustan Times | ByYesha Kotak, Mumbai

Sana Khanna would earlier give badhai — a custom believed to bring luck — at functions. Today, she serves food at the Third Eye café in Navi Mumbai, her life changed and confidence boosted. From being rejected for jobs because she is transgender, she now walks confidently, serving food to guests.

“Although we say Indian society is changing, that’s not really the case. We are still looked at differently by people,” said Khanna.

However, Nimesh Shetty, owner of the restaurant at Palm Beach Road, wants to change the perception people have towards the community. “I am not trying to sell the café through the transgender staff. I want to do it based on food and ambience. This is just a platform for this community to get better jobs,” said Shetty.

The cafe currently has six transgender employees, four of whom work as table attendants, one is in the kitchen, while one works as the manager. The restaurant employs around 20 people.

“Everyone can show sympathy or try to have empathy, but that’s not what the community needs. They need to good jobs,” said Shetty.

Gauri Sawant, a transgender activist, said people are usually scared and have fixed notion about the transgender community, which is why it is necessary to change the perception.

According to Sawant, this may be the first restaurant in the country to have such a large proportion of transgender staff.

“It is for the first time that transgenders are being taken out of sex work and begging. We have always petitioned for equal rights, but that hasn’t come through yet. Let’s hope this is a good beginning,” said Sawant.

Sawant also added that although the workers would earn lesser in a restaurant that they would earn by begging, sex work or badhai, it would give them a better exposure and they would then be able to explore other professional options.

However, Ami Mehta, a human resources personnel, said, “Nobody really hires transgender because people do not accept them and they are made fun of, and there is no reservation fixed for the community, unlike the disabled who have a quota for government jobs.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar

    ‘All JD(U) MPs, MLAs at consensus that…’: Nitish Kumar after his resignation

    Soon after resigning as chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said all MPs and MLAs of the JD(U) are at a consensus that the party should leave the NDA. “All MPs and MLAs are at a consensus that we should leave the NDA,” Kumar after submitting his resignation to Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan following a meeting of his JD(U), where a decision was taken to quit the BJP-led NDA.

  • Karnataka Governor Thawarchand Gehlot honoured three freedom fighters on Tuesday. 

    Karnataka Governor visits house of freedom fighters, honours them

    Karnataka Governor Thawarchand Gehlot on Tuesday honoured three freedom fighters here on the occasion of the 80th Quit India Movement anniversary and Independence Amruth Mahotsav (75 years). The Governor was accompanied by Revenue Minister R Ashok and Higher Education Minister Ashwath Narayan. Gehlot, earlier in the day visited the residence of R Narayanappa, a freedom fighter and felicitated him, which was followed by a visit to Sankaranarayan Rao, an official release said.

  • Officials said it is often difficult for LGBT people to buy or rent a house. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Maha govt accepts proposal to reserve flats for LGBT community in Nagpur

    The Maharashtra government has in principle accepted a proposal to reserve 72 flats in one of the three buildings of a housing scheme in Nagpur for the LGBT community. Social welfare department assistant commissioner Babasaheb Deshmukh added this was the first such attempt to create space for the community. He said Nagpur Improvement Trust has constructed the flats and they are ready for possession. Deshmukh said it will be the first dedicated housing scheme for the community in Maharashtra if approved.

  • Minsiter Narottam Mishra said that the convicts serving jail term for serious crimes such as rape will not be released.

    Madhya Pradesh to release 356 prisoners on 75 years of independence

    The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday said it will release 356 prisoners undergoing life imprisonment in various jails in the state on August 15 to commemorate 75 years of India's independence. Speaking to reporters, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said prisoners undergoing life imprisonment will be released from jails as per the guidelines issued by the Union home ministry and norms of the state government.

  • According to the agency, the duo had been apprehended from Eintkhedi locality of Bhopal on Sunday in the case relating to the arrest of six active cadres of the JMB.

    MP: NIA nabs two more JMB suspects from Bhopal

    The National Investigation Agency has arrested two alleged members of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal city, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Tuesday. The suspects, Hamidullah aka Raju Gaji and Sahadat Hussain, had been on the radar after the arrest of active JMB members in March this year, Mishra told reporters. The probe agency had recovered objectionable material from the duo's possession, he said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now