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UP govt threatens to shut down Sheroes café run by acid attack survivors

CJP 09 Oct 2018
Update: A report on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court of India has given a stay order regarding the matter and has given a respite of 9 months to Sheroes Hangout Café Lucknow. The SC has also directed the Allahabad High court to depose the case within nine months.
 
Anshu Rajput a campaigner for acid attack survivors was present in the Supreme Court and was ecstatic about the decision. Anshu said, “It was the conflict between truth and lies and we are happy that truth is being heard by the highest court of India,” reported Newsd.
 

On October 7, Sunday, the survivors who ran the café since 2016 took out a candle march to protest the shutdown and the attack on their livelihood and hard work.

 


Picture courtesy: girltalkhq

 
Lucknow: A one of its kind Café run by acid attacks survivors in Lucknow is on the verge of shutting down as the government refuses to renew their tender. Sheroes Hangout is a popular café in Lucknow which has gained a lot of publicity for its unique initiative, even winning the Nari Shakti award by the President of India.
 
On October 7, Sunday, the survivors who ran the café since 2016 took out a candle march to protest the shutdown and the attack on their livelihood and hard work. Anshu Rajput, a campaigner from Acid Attack Survivors, had written an open letter to CM Yogi Adityanath to save the café from shutting down. The online letter has received more than 37,000 signatures.
 
Survivors have made some demands to the CM. They want him to personally meet the survivors and ensure their troubles will be addressed and cancel the closing orders of October 22, 2018. They also said that many survivors had joined Sheroes in the hopes that the govt would provide jobs for them. They left their homes to come to Lucknow with that hope. The govt has not declared anything regarding this and should prepare a plan for their permanent rehabilitation. They also want a strict action against the Mahila Kalyan Nigam officials who tried to sell the brand to their close aides and stopped payments for survivors for a long time to make the project unsuccessful.
 
“The café was sent a notice by the Uttar Pradesh Mahila Kalyan Nigam asking it to vacate the premises by September 29th. The notice mentioned that the women welfare department does not want to continue with the project as it is not fulfilling its purpose. However, the ‘purpose’ listed in the notice wasn’t explicitly mentioned. It also stated that workers currently employed with the café will be assisted with the requisite training in association with the National Skill Development Corporation and the State Resource Centre for Women and Child to ensure their employment,” reported Feminism in India.
 
“As per the contract, UP MK Nigam was to sustain the café and provide salaries up to 2 years – from March 2016 to March 2018. Afterwards, Chhanv foundation had to mobilise resources and sustain the café themselves. Trouble loomed over the café after its lease ended in March 2018 and the government floated tender inviting prospective bids to run the premises. After the foundation’s intervention on grounds of violation of rules, the State Monitory Committee, entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the management of the café, concluded that there is no viable justification for the café to run after its lease ends,” the report said.
 
The Foundation moved to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court to be allowed time till October 24 to vacate the premises. Aashish Shukla, director of Chhanv Foundation said, “When an organization is performing good and actively works towards social acceptance then shutting it down without any valid reason is not okay.”
 
He added that there is no justification for minister Rita Bahuguna to shut this café. It was reported that Uttar Pradesh government revoked its order last week.
 
“Meanwhile after facing criticism for ordering the closure of Sheroes Cafe, the state minister for Women and Child Welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "The Sheroes Cafe which is being run in Lucknow will not be shut. Orders have already been issued to the department concerned to resolve the matter. The government stands firmly with the acid attack survivors and all possible efforts are being made for their empowerment,” India Today reported.
 
“Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav accused the Yogi Adityanath government of threatening people in the state and asking the famous Shereos Café to shut down. Yadav met the acid attack survivors to express his solidarity,” the report said.
 
Speaking to media while meeting the acid attack survivors, Yadav said, "It's disheartening that the state government wants to snatch the employment of acid attack survivors. This government believes only in politics of fear and threat. This cafe was started during the Samajwadi Party regime to empower acid attack survivors.”
 
Background:
On 8 March 2016, Sheroes Hangout Café was launched to rehabilitate Acid attack survivors and give them a livelihood to connect with the mainstream. Mahila Kalyan Nigam and Chhanv Foundation signed a two-year contract to run the place. The aim was to provide skills to the survivors and make them independent. The foundation said that there was no policy or provision by the state government regarding the rehabilitation of Acid attack survivors. There are no provisions for a govt job for them either.
 
In the eyes of the government, Sheroes Café is overstaying its welcome. The survivors and Chhanv Foundation argue that giving them a short notice to shut their operations after so much work has been achieved is to bring darkness in the lives of survivors who worked hard to come to the spotlight.
 
Sheroes Café is not just an eatery, it is an Acid Attack Survivors outreach centre too. According to NCRB data, Uttar Pradesh has more cases of acid attacks than the rest of the country. No steps have been taken to address this issue. The café was trying to recognise the problem, help survivors and spread awareness.
 

 

UP govt threatens to shut down Sheroes café run by acid attack survivors

Update: A report on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court of India has given a stay order regarding the matter and has given a respite of 9 months to Sheroes Hangout Café Lucknow. The SC has also directed the Allahabad High court to depose the case within nine months.
 
Anshu Rajput a campaigner for acid attack survivors was present in the Supreme Court and was ecstatic about the decision. Anshu said, “It was the conflict between truth and lies and we are happy that truth is being heard by the highest court of India,” reported Newsd.
 

On October 7, Sunday, the survivors who ran the café since 2016 took out a candle march to protest the shutdown and the attack on their livelihood and hard work.

 


Picture courtesy: girltalkhq

 
Lucknow: A one of its kind Café run by acid attacks survivors in Lucknow is on the verge of shutting down as the government refuses to renew their tender. Sheroes Hangout is a popular café in Lucknow which has gained a lot of publicity for its unique initiative, even winning the Nari Shakti award by the President of India.
 
On October 7, Sunday, the survivors who ran the café since 2016 took out a candle march to protest the shutdown and the attack on their livelihood and hard work. Anshu Rajput, a campaigner from Acid Attack Survivors, had written an open letter to CM Yogi Adityanath to save the café from shutting down. The online letter has received more than 37,000 signatures.
 
Survivors have made some demands to the CM. They want him to personally meet the survivors and ensure their troubles will be addressed and cancel the closing orders of October 22, 2018. They also said that many survivors had joined Sheroes in the hopes that the govt would provide jobs for them. They left their homes to come to Lucknow with that hope. The govt has not declared anything regarding this and should prepare a plan for their permanent rehabilitation. They also want a strict action against the Mahila Kalyan Nigam officials who tried to sell the brand to their close aides and stopped payments for survivors for a long time to make the project unsuccessful.
 
“The café was sent a notice by the Uttar Pradesh Mahila Kalyan Nigam asking it to vacate the premises by September 29th. The notice mentioned that the women welfare department does not want to continue with the project as it is not fulfilling its purpose. However, the ‘purpose’ listed in the notice wasn’t explicitly mentioned. It also stated that workers currently employed with the café will be assisted with the requisite training in association with the National Skill Development Corporation and the State Resource Centre for Women and Child to ensure their employment,” reported Feminism in India.
 
“As per the contract, UP MK Nigam was to sustain the café and provide salaries up to 2 years – from March 2016 to March 2018. Afterwards, Chhanv foundation had to mobilise resources and sustain the café themselves. Trouble loomed over the café after its lease ended in March 2018 and the government floated tender inviting prospective bids to run the premises. After the foundation’s intervention on grounds of violation of rules, the State Monitory Committee, entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the management of the café, concluded that there is no viable justification for the café to run after its lease ends,” the report said.
 
The Foundation moved to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court to be allowed time till October 24 to vacate the premises. Aashish Shukla, director of Chhanv Foundation said, “When an organization is performing good and actively works towards social acceptance then shutting it down without any valid reason is not okay.”
 
He added that there is no justification for minister Rita Bahuguna to shut this café. It was reported that Uttar Pradesh government revoked its order last week.
 
“Meanwhile after facing criticism for ordering the closure of Sheroes Cafe, the state minister for Women and Child Welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "The Sheroes Cafe which is being run in Lucknow will not be shut. Orders have already been issued to the department concerned to resolve the matter. The government stands firmly with the acid attack survivors and all possible efforts are being made for their empowerment,” India Today reported.
 
“Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav accused the Yogi Adityanath government of threatening people in the state and asking the famous Shereos Café to shut down. Yadav met the acid attack survivors to express his solidarity,” the report said.
 
Speaking to media while meeting the acid attack survivors, Yadav said, "It's disheartening that the state government wants to snatch the employment of acid attack survivors. This government believes only in politics of fear and threat. This cafe was started during the Samajwadi Party regime to empower acid attack survivors.”
 
Background:
On 8 March 2016, Sheroes Hangout Café was launched to rehabilitate Acid attack survivors and give them a livelihood to connect with the mainstream. Mahila Kalyan Nigam and Chhanv Foundation signed a two-year contract to run the place. The aim was to provide skills to the survivors and make them independent. The foundation said that there was no policy or provision by the state government regarding the rehabilitation of Acid attack survivors. There are no provisions for a govt job for them either.
 
In the eyes of the government, Sheroes Café is overstaying its welcome. The survivors and Chhanv Foundation argue that giving them a short notice to shut their operations after so much work has been achieved is to bring darkness in the lives of survivors who worked hard to come to the spotlight.
 
Sheroes Café is not just an eatery, it is an Acid Attack Survivors outreach centre too. According to NCRB data, Uttar Pradesh has more cases of acid attacks than the rest of the country. No steps have been taken to address this issue. The café was trying to recognise the problem, help survivors and spread awareness.
 

 

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