Published: 10th January 2019
IGNOU profs will now teach 10 acid attack survivors at Sheroes Hangout, help them get diplomas
Sheroes' Hangout is a cafe that is run by acid attack survivors. Of the 13 employees in its Lucknow branch, 10 of them are enrolled for the course
A vial of acid was all it took to turn their lives upside down. The world wept with them sympathetically at the scars that disfigured the faces and lost eyesight of these survivors. But there was more to it. Their education and career also came to a standstill.
But now, it is all set to change for 10 of the survivors working in Sheroes' Hangout, thanks to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The University's Lucknow centre has tied up with the cafe to provide free education to 10 of its employees. Starting from the end of January, 10 of them will be attending a six-month diploma in Food and Hospitality.
"IGNOU teachers will be coming to the cafe to teach the survivors, once a week. Six months later, they can write the exams in the centre," says Abhay Singh, Director Desk Associate, Sheroes Hangout. "Since they are all working in the cafe, this will be the best course for them. Also, it will be easy for their teachers since they're all in the same course."
Abhay says that the cafe's founders were in talks with IGNOU for this tie-up for a few months. Of the 13 women working in Sheroes, 10 of them are enrolled in the course. There is no eligibility criteria as such and the students can write the exams in either Hindi or in English.
The students also include Anshu Rajput, Farah Khan and Rupali, who are blind in one eye and can only see partially through the other eye. But they're still adamant and excited about learning a new skill. "People like us get such opportunities very rarely," says Anshu. "So when someone is offering us a chance, why will we say no to it?" asks this 21-year-old, who hopes that the skills that she learns will help her serve the customers at Sheroes better.