Over the 3 years of its time, Sheroes Hangout in Agra has catered thousands of guests from several parts of the nation and overseas. The number of beneficiaries at the Agra café has grown from 5 to 10 acid attack survivors. The impact of the café can be manifested in the lives of 5 survivors – Rupa, Ritu, Dolly, Neetu and Geeta with whom we started the project. The other survivors who joined later on also feel inspired and motivated to join the group of the existing ones. We are making progress as a team together. As the girls recover from their major injuries, we help them in their employment. The girls and women often face difficulties in achieving employment after the attack.
The acid attack survivors of Sheroes Hangout cafe in Agra need your help.The cafe, located close to the Taj Mahal, has become a popular joint among tourists who visit the Taj city. It is increasingly becoming a talking point on social media sites, attracted Chief Minister of the state, Prime Minister of Italy, First Lady of France and many eminent celebrities across the globe. Unfortunately, the first café that was started in Agra in 2014 has been demolished in the month of July last year. The café was demolished because the National Highway Authority of India planned to widen the Fatehabad road, that is, increasing the lanes of the road. However now, with some support, they were able to rebuild the cafe.
We have more than 40 acid attack survivor women who are benefited by the cafés in Agra and Lucknow.
The concept of the cafe is unique in the sense that no rates are fixed by the women who host the guests. We wanted to create a space for the acid attack survivors who face a lot of problems because of their faces. The cafe serves food and beverages but also serves as an information hub— with a library, a space to hold events, an activism workshop, a one-point centre & help desk for the victims of violence and an exhibition space where the women can display their artwork. The income through sales is used for paying salaries and meeting operational expenses. The project works on a self-sustainable model. With more such cafes, we want to help as many acid attack survivors as we can. Although their lives have been marked with pain and hardship, these women are banding together to support fellow victims, and to make these attacks a thing of the past.
Major AchievementsSheroes Hangout, an initiative by Chhanv Foundation has been awarded Nari Shakti Puruskaar 2016 by the Majesty of India, President, Mr. Pranav Mukherjee. With this Sheroes has received many global recognitions like BOBS award for best of online activism by Deutsche Welle, Germany.
Why do we think Sheroes Hangouts are important?
- Sheroes are important because when survivors finally get rid of operations and hospital admissions they keep high hopes of getting a job to overcome the dept of the hospital expenses. They live with disabilities and find there are very few opportunities out there to them. At that very moment, Sheroes project helps them get a good job that can also support them in their trough journeys. There are more than 40 women acid attack survivors who are employed at the Sheroes Projects.
- Sheroes are important because it allows the acid attack survivors to get the exposure that they get that they might not have got otherwise.
- Sheroes are important because the very first time in the history this cafe project has emerged as space were people got an opportunity to understand the problem in society and the survivors want to share this information with other people. The cafe is a platform to inform the masses a problem and a way to create greater social change.
- Sheroes are important because most of the ways to protests are often too old. The way the protests work, they disrupt, involves chants and signs with bold messages which creates polarity in reactions. At Sheroes cafes, we don’t make people angry, rather we create an opposite effect what we want from ourselves. We try to get people interested and involved.
- Sheroes are important because it is a civil right moment to ensure that people become aware of the violent society that they are living in, a women’s right moment informing people that most of the violence are against women.
What we are fundraising for?
To ensure employment to every survivor of acid attack survivor girls and women is next on our objectives. In addition to employment at Sheroes Hangout cafe, the organisation has reiterated its call for concrete steps in terms of building a genuine social and employment plan. New chapters of cafe Sheroes will address the employment needs of acid attack survivors associated with the foundation and simultaneously increase the awareness against acid violence in the country.
Why should you contribute
We need your support and encouragement to help us continue running the Sheroes Hangout project in Agra for the girls whose life significantly sustain on this café. As per the reports of NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau), every year our country witnesses more than 250 acid attacks. There is no rehabilitation program set up by any Government body, one of its unique kind, the cafe Sheroes Hangout is a ray of hope for the survivors of acid attack from all over the country.
These women, and sadly many more, have experienced pain and victimisation like no human being ever should. But thanks to their resolve and their will to live full lives, they’re inspiring people across the globe. To help their important movement to end acid attacks and abuse the world over, please SHARE their amazing story, ask friends to contribute!