The internet is a storehouse of many heart-warming and positive stories that evoke so many emotions within us. We have recently seen, for instance, how cafes and restaurants are trying to provide gainful employment to the less privileged and marginalised communities. In Delhi, there is a cafe called Echoes run by those with hearing and speech impairments. The chain is a huge hit and has become widely popular as a dine-out option. In Mumbai, we recently heard of a cafe that employs members of the transgender community. Another such story has surfaced from Kolkata, wherein a cafe is being managed and run by HIV-positive youth in the community. Take a look:
West Bengal | Kolkata's Cafe Positive is being managed by HIV-positive staff only.
These people are also part of our society. It will give them employment. I'm planning to open 30 cafes across the country. I appeal to people to visit here: Kallol Ghosh, owner of the cafe pic.twitter.com/lLrg3PM9A8— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2022
Known as 'Positive Cafe', the eatery was first set up in 2018 by Dr. Kallol Ghosh in a 100-square feet garage in Jodhpur Park. It has recently shifted to Ballygunge to a bigger space in order to cater to the growing customer base. Run by seven HIV-positive youth, the idea behind the cafe is to clear misconceptions about the disease and also create a source of employment and income. Coffee, fish and chips, sandwiches and pasta are some of the dishes available at the Kolkata cafe.
Dr. Ghosh, the owner of the Kolkata cafe, says this is the first-of-its-kind eatery in Asia. He runs an NGO for HIV-positive children and had initially faced a struggle in finding a place for the cafe. Talking about his customers, Dr. Ghosh told PTI, "Most of them say they don't have a problem, although some still leave. People in their twenties are very receptive and progressive. It must be kept in mind that HIV does not spread like other contagious diseases." "Now, at our new Ballygunge address, a cross-section of Kolkatans -- from young professionals, students, executives to homemakers and even celebrities -- throng our place without any hesitation," he added.
Twitter users too lauded this initiative by Dr. Ghosh. Take a look at some of the reactions to the news of the Kolkata cafe.
Hope it helps erasing stigma around a disease which is very easily manageable.— Sab MohMaya Hai (@PKMKB_56) April 9, 2022
Respect— Anita (@ASglobe13) April 9, 2022
Wish you success, sir!
And thank you ????????— Action Jackson (@actionjackson3d) April 10, 2022
It's a good news— girish zaveri (@girishzaveri49) April 9, 2022
I'm glad that you are supporting the persecuted. Please do add people from the trans community as well... They need empowerment too....— Civilized Squid (@goks1987) April 9, 2022
Inspirational ♥️????????— ???????????????????????????? (@BharathReddy___) April 9, 2022
The future looks promising for the Kolkata café, as Dr. Ghosh plans to open four more outlets across the city in various shopping malls. An 18-year-old working at the cafe told PTI, "We are no different from others and should not be treated as pariahs. Sidhu da (Siddhartha Ray) of 'Cactus' band visited our cafe several times and encouraged us to keep working hard. We thank the city for accepting this cafe."
What did you think of the Kolkata cafe run by HIV-positive youth? Tell us