The Deepika Padukone-starrer and Meghna Gulzar’s directorial Chhapaak has brought back the important topic of acid attacks and preventing them. This brings to our attention the Sheroes Hangout in Agra and Lucknow, a chain of cafes run entirely by acid attack survivors. By Kumar Shree
The burns created by acid is not only on the skin, it chars the soul and will of a survivor as well. At a time when these survivors cage themselves in a societal-stigma-induced confinement, Sheroes Hangout delivers a shimmering ray of hope. It extends an offering hand for these survivors to reappear in the open, accept their new identity and lead a life of dignity.
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#Repost @kanjarkudiyanadventures(@save.repost)We got goosebumps when we went there. It's run by women who have survived acid attacks. It redefines beauty in the city of love. We had a wholesome meal and the most amazing part is that you pay as you like! We paid as much as we could and we definitely want you to pay attention as they need our help so that this wonderful endeavour doesn't come to an end. #sheroeshangout
Alok Dixit, a journalist turned activist, is the brain behind Sheroes Cafe. He is also at the helm of Chhanv Foundation and Stop Acid Attacks campaign. This cafe, which was set up with the idea of rehabilitating the #AcidAttackSurvivors, has been successfully living up the agenda. Both the centres have been doing well, and are now a popular go-to spot for food, snacks, leisure, book reading, and shopping.
The cafe employs many acid attack survivors like Madhu Kashyap and Rukaiya Khatoon. Rupa Saa — whose last name is an acronym for Stop Acid Attacks, in turn representing what she truly stands for — is another one of Shereos’ employees.
It was during the opening of their first cafe in Agra that Alok Dixit met Laxmi Agarwal, the survivor whose story forms base for Chhapaak.
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Sheroes Hangout @sheroes_hangout is a vegetarian cafe in Agra, India, run solely by survivors of acid attacks. I visited this place as part of @intrepidtravel Vegan India Tour earlier this year, and it really opened my eyes to gender violence rampant across India. Check out my latest post at greedyvegans.com (link in bio) to read about this amazing place and what you can do to support and empower survivors 💪🏻🇮🇳💚 . . . #india #sheroes #vegetarian #vegan #important #stopacidattacks #empoweringwomen #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #exploreindia #travel #travelfood #veganblog #veganblogger #wanderlust #beintrepid #agra #art #mural #beautiful
The Agra cafe that opened in December, 2014 is a short walk from the Taj Mahal, and initially operated on a ‘pay as you wish’ policy. It has now evolved into a full-fledged establishment which runs like any other cafe with its own fixed menu and prices. It also has a library, a community radio hub, and a boutique corner showcasing creations of those working at the cafe.
Sheroes Hangout, Agra: Behind Go Stops Hostel, Taj Nagari Phase 1, RK Puram Phase-2, Agra
Sheroes Hangout, Lucknow: Opposite Dr B R Ambedkar Park, Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow