Acid attack survivors defy norms with another cafe in Noida

Theyve been like parents to us, Rupa said.Anshu Rajput, 24, from Bijnor, did not lose hope even as she was faced peoples apathy after becoming victim of an acid attack in 2015.Acid attack survivors face discrimination on a different level altogether.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 29-05-2022 16:11 IST | Created: 29-05-2022 16:01 IST
Acid attack survivors defy norms with another cafe in Noida
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Acid attack survivors continue to make strides in the mainstream world, opening now the third café and fittingly named it 'Sheroes'. Sheroes is completely managed by acid attack survivors right from the kitchen to the sales counter and aims to spread awareness about acid attacks and similar crimes.

The latest café came up on the campus of Noida International stadium in Sector 21 with the collaboration of the Noida Authority.

Rupa, an acid attack survivor from Muzaffarnagar and one of the managers, said that after 2014, when the first such joint was opened in Laxmi Nagar, many more survivors came forward deciding to shed the baggage of their pain. ''The idea was to have one platform for all such survivors as most of them are not so educated. Most people give up their studies after such incidents,'' Rupa told PTI. Her own life came to a standstill after she was attacked by her stepmother in 2008.

''After the attack, my father disowned me. My brother and I had grown up in Faridabad with my uncle and aunty. They supported us immensely. They've been like parents to us,'' Rupa said.

Anshu Rajput, 24, from Bijnor, did not lose hope even as she faced people's apathy after becoming a victim of an acid attack in 2015.

''Acid attack survivors face discrimination on a different level altogether. It becomes difficult facing people. They pass comments on us, judge us, don't give us jobs,'' Anshu told PTI. She said she was attacked with acid by a 55-year-old man, who claimed to love her. The man was arrested later and was sent to prison for life. Anshu said that the café initiative boosted their confidence by a great magnitude. ''Earlier, I always used to make sure that I cover my face while stepping out of my house. That has changed now after being associated with other survivors. I don't feel ashamed to show my face to anyone anymore,'' she said. ''My parents aren't educated enough. My father has been a farmer, and none of us had any idea whether I will be accepted with such face condition for a job outside the village," she said.

Anshu said she was suspended from her school after she was attacked with acid in 2015. "Neighbours and other people would pass comments every time I stepped outside. I used to have suicidal thoughts," she said. She completed her studies in Agra later and now works as a manager at 'Sheroes' cafe in Noida. The first 'Sheroes' cafe was opened in Agra on December 10, 2014, and was managed by five acid attack survivors. The second one is operational in Lucknow. ''With the cafe, we want to send out a message that we are just as efficient as anyone else," said Nagma Sufia, another acid attack survivor, and a 'Sheroes' cafe associate.

Sufia was attacked with acid by her cousin in 2014 and survived the battle without her parents, supported by her two brothers. Like all such survivors, Sufia too stopped going out of her house after the attack. "My brothers and friends pushed me to complete my studies. They said life isn't over just because my facial features were damaged. I completed my studies from home," she said. "I came close to giving it all up, even my life, many times." Sufia encouraged all acid attack survivors to live their life just as same for there are some good people out there. "There are people who demeaned us, but there are also people who lifted our spirits to a whole new level," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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