Guwahati: Asia’s first cafe run exclusively by HIV positive staff has opened in Kolkata. ‘Cafe positive’ is aimed to spread awareness and generate employment for HIV positive people.
The staff consists of 7 teenagers, all of whom are HIV-positive.
The owner of the cafe, Kallol Ghosh also founded Anandaghar, an NGO which works with children affected with mental health and HIV positive people. He was inspired by a cafe in Frankfurt which was completely run by HIV positive people.
“Where will these kids go? As per juvenile justice law, one cannot stay at a home after 18 years of age. After the homes, where will the kids go? They need employment” said Kallol Ghosh to India Today.
According to Ghosh, he first opened the cafe in 2018 and is now expanding the business. Ghosh said he has plans to come up with 30 more such cafes in Eastern India and has shortlisted 800 people for the training.
Ghosh said that in the beginning, the neighbours of the cafe were skeptical but soon realised that HIV positive people are like all other humans.
“One problem I faced was with a chef. I am opening more such cafes, I need professional help to help these kids. I have been told by a chef that his family objects to the place, hence he won’t join” said Ghosh.
The main aim of the cafe is to not only spread awareness about HIV and about the people who have been suffering from HIV but also to provide employment to the people.
The place is known for its coffee and sandwiches and is typically buzzing with professionals, college students, and young adults.
(Inputs from India Today)