Sheroes Hangout Cafes in India Employ Acid Attack Survivors and Give Them a Life of Dignity
Agra and Lucknow – both are historical cities and popular tourist places in India. Agra is famous worldwide for the Taj Mahal, while Lucknow is known for its Awadhi cuisine. Among the things common between Agra and Lucknow is a place for acid attack survivors. The place is not a mere shelter for the afflicted, but a noble restaurant run entirely by acid attack survivors in India.
Yes, Sheroes Hangout is another significant landmark, though not historical but humanitarian, in both Agra and Lucknow, which many people are still not aware of. Part of the madding crowd that our civilized society is, Sheroes Hangout in Agra and Lucknow is where the acid attack victims love to see themselves in the mirror.
Sheroes Hangout in Lucknow and Agra is the only place where people don’t shudder looking at the acid attack survivors whose scarred faces eloquently tell the tales of brutality inflicted to them. Rather, sensitive locals and foreign tourists are served food by them and listen to their most dreadful moments of inhumanity, their stories of struggle in quest of justice…
Sheroes Hangout cafes in India are among the initiatives by the “Stop Acid Attackers” group that Alok Dixit, a journalist and social activist, started. The more the group reached out to acid attack victims in different parts of the country, the better it got to know about their psychological and economic distress. The group collected nearly 1 lakh through various fund-raising measures and opened the first Sheroes Hangout café in Agra.
Sheroes Hangout café in Lucknow has provided employment to 12 acid attack survivors, and Agra’s Sheroes Hangout café is where nine acid attack survivors have found a decent means of sustenance and a dignified way of life. Reportedly, Deepika Padukone, who plays an acid attack survivor in her upcoming Bollywood film Chhapaak, will celebrate her 34th birthday at Lucknow’s Sheroes Hangout café.
India is one of the few Asian countries with the highest rate of acid attacks on women. Sheroes Hangout cafes have empowered them to come out of the curtain of fear and embarrassment where perpetrators of acid attacks like to see them. The waitresses of Sheroes Hangout cafes do no longer cover their heads and veil their faces. They no longer consider themselves as acid attack victims; rather, they have come alive as survivors. Rupa, one of the acid attack survivors, has dropped her surname as her father did not part from her step mother who poured acid on her face on a deadly night.