The employees of Cafe Arpan in Mumbai strike a happy pose for the lens. (Credit: Cafe Arpan)

This Mumbai Cafe Serves Up A Social Message Along With Food

Finding employment for differently-abled individuals remains a challenge, though many companies—Indian and foreign—are of late warming up to the idea. One such entity is a Mumbai-based non-governmental organisation.

The Yash Charitable Trust recently launched Cafe Arpan, which seeks to employ people with developmental disabilities. The cafe currently has 13 such employees who handle everything–from greeting the customers to cooking and serving for them.

The team behind the cafe hopes to overcome the social biases and stigma associated with employing people with developmental disabilities such as autism and helping them be a part of the regular workforce. Ashaita Mahajan, trustee at the NGO, said social challenges persist due to a lack of awareness and the means to train and integrate these employees.

“We realised that employment opportunities for adults with development disabilities are little,” Mahajan said. “Many people may not find it easy to employ people like them because they require a lot of support, for which many don’t have the means or don’t know how to do that.”

The cafe takes inspiration from a similar initiative in Philippines—Puzzle Cafe, which was started by a family to provide employment for their autistic son.

Watch the video to know more about Cafe Arpan: