Sheroes' Hangout

Friday, 2 September 2016

This post is part of a new series on this blog called "people doing amazing things" highlighting people making the world a better place to be in. 
Hello hello hello, so as you can tell from my little bit above this travel post is a little different (and there are more to come like this). Whilst in Agra we visited a Café called Sheroes Hangout, it's actually a cafe set up by the Stop Acid Attacks organisation and run by survivors of acid attacks in Inida. They have one in Agra and one in Lucknow working to help survivors.

It's well known that India, and other countries, have big problems with acid attacks. But it never features in western news unless it's it's someone western who have has been the victim of the attack. But it would be in the news every single day if they did report on stories regularly. They happen in India every single day.
Acid is pretty readily available in India and can be bought very cheaply. It is readily available for domestic use in large quantities and it's sale isn't regulated; meaning anyone can get hold of it.
Many of the victims in India have acid thrown on them by family members, by step-mothers, husbands, cousins, and often with the support of the rest of their family. This means that once attacked it can be extremely hard for them to get medical help and means they can become isolated and shunned by their community.
And there is still no concrete law in India about acid attacks, most of the victims do not get any justice. Many are not only left without a home, and with their attacker free, but facing large medical bills too.
Most women then chose to spend their lives hiding their faces, as is expected of them, and give up on an idea of a life with a husband and a career.
But there is hope, the Stop Acid Attacks organisation is fighting to change laws in India. And they set up Sheroes' hangout to help those who have survived acid attacks. These women consider themselves survivors, not victims, and are getting a chance to strive for their dreams again.
Many of those who are survivors of acid attacks are very young and it has a detrimental effect on their education and career. Here they're given a second chance, in a place where people aren't going to judge them by their scars, to gain skills and do what they want to in life away from their attackers.
Sheroes' is a Cafe with a friendly atmosphere and pretty great food. The food is "Pay as you wish" meaning their are no prices on the menu and you pay what you think the food and service is worth. 
There are pictures of the girls on the walls, their artwork is available to buy and they have so many books on the shelves, a lot of books about women that i really wanted to buy but I didn't have the room in my bag.
All of the walls inside and out were beautiful painted with murals, mainly of women, and it was definitely my kind of place. Plenty of veggie food, beautiful artwork, and books I mean what more could you want?
 I think this is my new life moto.
I don't really know what else to say about this place, it kind of speaks for itself in a way and I want to tell you how wonderful it is without being without treating these women like victims, because they're not anymore. They're working hard to achieve their dreams and Sheroes' is giving them the opportunity do to that and that's amazing.
But if you do want to know more about the women that this cafe supports and read some of their stories you can do that here. Also you can see the stop acid attacks website here and see more information about the issues of acid attacks in India and how they're trying to change the laws and help more people.
And if you haven't already you can see my Agra video diary below which features Sheroes' Hangout
#stopacidattacks

I visited this cafe as part of my India to Nepal tour with G Adventures which you can see more about and book for yourself here.
Thanks for reading!

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