Today is International Women's Day and like every year, our phones are teeming with WhatsApp forwards by family and friends, stating how lucky they are to have us around. This day is usually dedicated to reflect on the achievements of women and to celebrate our power- how far we've come on issues of gender parity and more. But this time, to commemorate this day we've made a list of 6 places which are redefining women empowerment, here in Lucknow.
A one of it's kind cafe in Lucknow, Sheroes cafe was set up here in the city after a successful run in Agra. Operated solely by acid attack survivors, Sheroes Hangout drives home a motivating message of resilience and determination. These survivors who work here, stem from various backgrounds and diverse level of competences.
Located opposite Ambedkar Park, once you step in, you'll get a clearer picture as to why and how this joint hastaken up an unexampled spot in Lucknow. Over the recent years, Sheroes has etched an image of a place of refuge and recovery for India's acid attack fighters, by providing them with a safe space and job opportunities.
Dahi Bada Guys
Dahi Bada Guys is a startup which has its outlets in Patrakarpuram and Alambagh here in Lucknow. Revolving around desi dahi badas, this brand is spearheading women empowerment on its own terms. Adjoining the owner's house, the main kitchen is set up in the narrow lanes of Chowk and the cooks here aren't exactly five-star chefs but local women. Ladies from the adjacent areas are hired here and are given a chance at a better life, through fair pay and equal rights.
Dahi Bada Guys has truly marked the advent of new age entrepreneurs in the city who are setting up a name on their own while keeping their social responsibilities in mind as well.
Burlington Chauraha Fuel Station
The petrol pump in Burlington Chauraha, just opposite the F. I. Hospital, is surely different than the ones we usually spot around the city. Managed by Apurva and Shikha Bhargava, they've been employing women here for quite sometime now. At present, they have recruited 7 ladies from the nearby areas and these women work for 6-7 hours on a daily basis in different shifts. They take in ladies from all walks of life, especially if they are going through troubled times and are in need of financial support.
This Burlington fuel station has women with different stories yet the same need at the end of the day. So the managers have been taking ample steps continuously to push these women towards financial independence and empowerment.
Started way back in 2007, Alpahar Gharelu Mahila Udhyog is a namkeen shop in Lucknow, started by Mrs. Pooja Gupta. With just 3 ladies and only a few items to start with, Alpahaar has now employed over 60 women from underprivileged backgrounds.
This joint comprises of a wide variety of Indian namkeens and they're popularly known for their small-sized samosas, laddoos, achaar, papads and so on. Presently with different outlets in the city, Alpahaar is one of the names on the forefront of women empowerment in Lucknow.
Started out in 2017, The Achaari is a homegrown brand which has etched a prominent name for itself in Lucknow within a short span of time. Churning out delish pickles without oil and preservatives, The Achaari is based out of a village in Malihabad and the brand works with all the household women of the village, providing them with skills and confidence to form their own.
Starting from the authentic recipes of the achaars to whipping up the final product, The Achaari involves women in every step of the way. Highly acclaimed by the world famous Chef Vikas Khanna, Achaari is on its journey to bring about a revolution in the society by taking a stand for women, like no other around!
Akanksha Masala Mathri Kendra
Established in 1987 and now seated near Butler Palace, Akanksha Masala Mathri Kendra is the development arm of the Indian Administrative Officers' Wives Association of Uttar Pradesh. This NGO focuses on the empowerment of women and girls, specifically those who stem from marginalized backgrounds. The kendra presently has over 100 women and girls who have been segmented into six self-help groups, namely Durga, Laxmi, Parvati, Saraswati, Ambey and Santoshi.
Akanksha Samiti is also running a school for slum kids where children are given free uniforms and stationery and amidst other facilities, they've also set up a computer centre for poor children.
Women's day isn't just about fancy flowers and chocolates for the women around you.This day is more about giving women equal rights, opportunities and empowering them to lead a better life, in the face of extreme adversities. We're truly applauding the efforts of these places and people who have kept women in the lead and if you know anyone who deserves our attention, do let us know in the comments below.