For the first time ever, she veers out on her own, having previously only been accompanied by her father out of doors. Durga, a third-degree burns survivor now heads to work at Amelie’s Cafe & Creamery, Chennai; she is one of many who have found new meaning by being engaged in skilled work at one of Chennai’s many upmarket cafes.
They are responsible for the commercial successes of many businesses
As someone who would never leave the house without the company of her father, she now has the confidence to face the world. Also, having persevered to find a job at this Parisian-style cafe, there is nothing more she loves than the freedom it has brought her. Similarly, many others have been given a lease of new life and not for the reasons of charity, says, Rajesh Bysani, co-owner and manager of Amelie’s, “The women are directly responsible for much of the commercial success of our eight-month-old cafe. They have not been employed solely on charity grounds.” Amelie, famous for its indulgent gelato is one of the confectionary businesses in Chennai who are reinventing their idea of making business by empowering survivors of domestic abuse and burns.
They receive all the care and support to beat traumatic experiences
In the same way, the Writer’s Cafe was the first one in Chennai to employ survivors of abuse. After putting them through a 3-month course in baking and confectionery while also schooling them on the pressures of the culinary industry. Chef and manager, Karan Manavalan said, “The idea is to empower them to start their own bakeries and establishments out there in the real world. That’s what we’ve been preparing them for in the past year.” They aren’t given any special treatment but instead receive all the counselling and support they need to come out their traumatic past. More recently, Uber Eats are encouraging their customers to promote and support more women entrepreneurs and restaurant owners.
Tapping into a great opportunity for both businesses and women, the city of Chennai is surely setting the bar high for fellow business people in neighbouring cities.