Rising from Scars to Glory, this Cafe in Agra is Run by Acid Attack VictimsApr 02, 2018
Just half a mile away from the spectacular architectural wonder of India, the Taj Mahal, the Sheroes Hangout is gaining popularity among the public for a strong reason. It is a cafe run by the victims of acid attack who have triumphed over the battle against low self-esteem and societal stigma.
Strength doesn't come from your winning. The hardships that you undergo and the willingness to swing back to action defines your strength. The acid attack survivors have recovered from the anger and pain and have discovered the depth of inner beauty. These women are true soldiers and have forced the society to change their stereotypes of beauty and status.
The restaurant Sheroes Hangout is run exclusively by survivors of a brutal acid attacks. Opened in Agra in 2014, this project has given them a reason to live and dream once again. The sole motive of this establishment is to stop the brutality against humanity.
The survivors running this restaurant come from various backgrounds and different levels of qualification. The project is designed to bring out the best from the victims and provide a lot of scope for personal and professional development.
The restaurant, apart from beverages, food and snacks offers chances for shopping, relaxing and spending quality time with friends and family. It holds a library, a radio hub and boutique showcasing Ropa's work.
The Sheroes Hangout promotes many events like book launches, debates, musical concerts etc which are conducted with the motive of suppressing the evils happening in the society.
Initially, it was started as a public funding project which requested people to donate as much as they could. But these fighters are trying to bring an end to this by becoming entrepreneurs and earning their own bread.
The story of change
It is extremely mind-stirring to know the story of these young women, who started it as a small venture. Now, it has created a significant transformation in their lives and has also helped others to change their perspective about external appearance. Chhanv foundation has supported this socio-economic project and serves as a rehabilitation center for the survivors.
The women, after getting to Sheroes are no longer concealing their faces but are posing for the cameras with a broad beautiful smile.
How do Acid attacks occur?
Perpetrators of acid attacks intend to disfigure and cause extreme physical and mental suffering to victims. Hydrochloric, sulfuric, or nitric acid is thrown on their bodies which burn through flesh and bone. The acid is splashed through windows or sometimes in public places when the targeted person is involved in his/her regular activities. It causes immense physical and mental pain, distortion of facial features and sometimes blindness. Strangely, instead of the culprit being punished, the victim is once again victimized and pushed to the dark corner to lead a life invisible to others. Such a scarred girl is once again cursed to lament behind the doors, expecting death as the only way out of the darkness.
Since last three years, ‘stop acid attack’ campaign has helped nearly 300 of them to get their medical support, psychological counseling and legal rights. The acid attack victim rehabilitation movement called Chhanv foundation is funded by many kind-hearted people and it runs a lodge to accommodate the acid attack survivors who are treated in New Delhi. The brave soldiers of Chhanv, with their hard work and determination have given birth to Sheroes Hangout.
Located near Taj Mahal, Agra, the cafe serves beverages, snacks and free Wi-Fi to the guests. Unlike the other eateries and hospitality industries where a ravishing beauty receives the guests, the food in this place is served by people of inner beauty. This place is currently very popular among people residing in and around Agra.
A few words from the survivors
The intention of the criminal is to disable you and your spirits and make you live a life in a vacuum. But swing back and soar up in the sky and show your enemies that nothing on earth can stop your success and happiness.