New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Crowdera, a free fundraising and crowdfunding platform for individuals and organisations, is helping acid attack survivors to find a firm footing and reclaim their place back in the society. The campaign – Support Orange Café who is against patriarchal violence is currently active on Crowdera’s crowdfunding platform. A group of acid attack survivors from Uttar Pradesh had started ‘The Orange Café and Restaurant: Standing for a violence-free world’ in Varanasi just before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Initially helped by the collaborative effort of Action Aid Association, the café is owned and operated by the survivors. The café continued to operate during the lockdowns and served more than 200 meals a day to the most pandemic-affected sections of society, the fundraising platform said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.
“We have faced many difficulties and hardships in our life after suffering acid attack. Today, I am happy and satisfied to be able to do something for the even more vulnerable sections of the society in this hour of need,” says Badama Devi, one of the brave survivors, on serving meals during lockdowns. “We are getting good quality cooked food on a regular basis and do not sleep empty stomach,” said Savita, a daily wage earner, who had lost her income during the lockdown. Energized by the committed efforts of these women, the police administration of Durgakund locality, where the Café is located, came forward to support the distribution of food. Talking about the campaign Avinash Sapru, Head of fundraising, ActionAid, said: “We are very thankful to the team Crowdera for coming together for this wonderful campaign. The Orange Café campaign is looking for support which is crucial to help the café survive the economic shock of the pandemic and help the hard-working survivors stand on their own feet in the most sustainable and dignified manner. The campaign is spreading a message against patriarchal violence and aims to change people’s attitude towards survivors. Your love and trust can help warriors to support and run their cafe.” The contributions collected from the campaign will be utilised for sustaining the basic needs of the acid attack warriors like rent, honorariums to cooks and workers, electricity, gas etc to tide over the pandemic impact.
Narrating their story, Chet Jainn, CEO, Crowdera said, “COVID-19 hit a month after the inauguration of the Orange Café, but the café continued to run, not for paying customers, but for the marginalized communities of the city. Starting March 30, Orange Cafe prepared over 200 food packets every day for the marginalized.?” “Now, these brave women are fighting to keep the Orange Café alive. With no revenues in the opening months of business operating, the survivors need help to ensure that Orange Café remains open. They need our help to keep their motivations high and a helping hand in their struggle to change attitude of society,” he added.
Their courage shows that violence is not the end of their story even though the survivors are often perceived to be a burden on their families and have minimal options to stand on their own feet. Owning and running a business helps the survivors show the world that they have a lot to offer. With every meal they serve, they change the attitude of their customers and build more supporters for women against violence.