Published: 13th January 2018
Initiative by a Chennai-based cafe has changed the lives of these acid attack survivors
The café that has employed ten acid attack survivors in its kitchen, donates all of its profits to the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC)
If I was given the chance to spend my Sunday evening wherever I wanted, I'd choose to go to Writer's Café in Chennai! And not just because I can pick up a good book from their library and read it in peace or because I’d want to chow down on their yummy food. I'd go there because dining there would also mean that I get to support an acid attack survivor.
The café that has employed ten acid attack survivors in its kitchen, donates all of its profits to the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) – an NGO that works toward the rehabilitation of women acid attack survivors. And currently, more women are being trained to join Writer’s Cafe and its future endeavours.
Cafe for a cause: Acid attack survivors earn about 10–15,000 per month
The initiative is the brainchild of Mahadevan M, who is the proprietor of well-known restaurant chains like Hot Breads and French Loaf. It all began when it dawned on him that merely donating money every month wasn’t a sustainable solution to help acid attack survivors. So, he set up the café with the goal of rehabilitating and boosting the self-esteem of these survivors. The team is headed by Karan Manavalan, who is the chef and manager of the café. According to Karan, "Not just the employees, but the customers have also been supportive of this initiative and a few of them are also willing to take part in the cause."
The café is a bibliophile zone that operates in collaboration with Higginbothams, South India's favourite bookstore since 1884, providing Chennai readers a place to call home. To most, Higginbothams was that famous store at Central station, where you could find the perfect book to read on the train, just before you boarded. The top floor of the café is an exclusive library. You can’t take your food upstairs, but you can pick up a book and read for a bit before you head downstairs to your hot meal, cooked by an acid attack survivor.