Café Positive is a unique café situated in Kolkata. It is the culmination of a dream that 10 HIV-positive teenagers had.
Would it surprise you to know that this group took almost six months to find a space to start the café? After several rejections from all quarters, they finally found a space in Jodhpur Park.
A report in The Times of India says the 12 X 10 ft garage at Jodhpur Park was finalised after a six-month search in some of south Kolkata’s posh localities yielded a straightaway “no” from house-owners when they learnt about who will manage and run the shop.
Belonging to an NGO called Offer, these ten teenagers were abandoned by their families when they found out that they were all HIV-positive.
Offer gave them shelter in Anandaghar, a home for HIV-positive people in the Gobindapur area. They were also imparted with professional training to become chefs.
Founder Kallol Ghosh told Hindustan Times, “The HIV-positive people will only maintain accounts, serve customers and clean tables. The kitchen will have hired cooks. It will also have glass walls so that customers can have a clear view of how food and beverages are being prepared. Moreover, only disposable utensils will be used in Café- Positive.”
What is heartening is the gesture by the owner of the garage, Indrajyoti Dasgupta. An honorary member of the Rotary Club of Kolkata, he offered his space when he found out that the teenagers were unable to find an appropriate space despite a search for more than six months.
ToI reports, “I was initially a bit hesitant to offer my garage space as it is much smaller than what they were looking for. But after learning that they had failed to manage any space in over six months, I told them to start their business from here. This can be the beginning from where they can spread their wings. I am happy to be a part of this noble initiative,” said Indrajyoti.
It must also be mentioned here that Indrajyoti has to park his car outside since he has not found an alternate parking space.
The café is all set to start functioning from July 14. If you are a resident of Kolkata or will be visiting any time after the café’s inauguration, do visit them and savour the assortment of beverages and food they have planned.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)