Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and celebrity stylist Sapna Bhavnani were the special guests at the inauguration of Sheroes Hangout at Arvana Shopping Destination in Udaipur today. The inauguration was done by Income Tax Commissioner Neena Kumar in the presence of MD Arvana, Hasan Paliwala and Director Arvana, Deepak Arvana.
After successfully running the Hangout in Agra and Lucknow, this is Sheroes’ third outlet in the country. Alok Dikshit, from Sheroes said that the interior of the Cafe at Arvana has Rajasthani culture and art based theme, where visitors can witness culture with an entirely new perspective. He added that where it is difficult for women to come out of hibernation after being victimised, the Sheroes ladies have shown tremendous courage and determination in starting Sheroes and being a part of its success. Sheroes brings out character and confidence in the ladies who are a part of this initiative.
Kalki in her brief address to the media said that she felt privileged to be a part of the opening ceremony of Sheroes and this was something that gave her ultimate gratification as a woman, to associate herself with such an initiative. She added that she had been waiting for months to come and inaugurate the Sheroes Hangout Cafe at Arvana.
Sapna, in her address to the audience added that Sheroes is a brave initiative and her heart goes all out to the women who have made it happen. They are the role models for women globally in the way they have overcome their socially imposed handicap and made a presence for themselves.
Rupa, also a part of Sheroes, said that after commencing operations in December 2014 with its first cafe in Agra, the Hangout has witnessed transition from being just a place for a sitting space, to where it stands now – being a motivation aspect for visitors who happen to patronise it. The Cafe model include am Art Gallery, Book Reading section in addition to space allocated for conducting workshops and exhibitions – where the exemplary art of those who work here is showcased. Local visitors as well as tourists have returned with fond memories of the place in both Agra as well as Lucknow.
In an incident narrated by Rupa, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav happened to visit the cafe in Lucknow a few months after it was launched. His sudden visit pleasantly surprised the ladies who were operating the Cafe, viz. Ritu, Rupa, Nitu and Geeta; who when asked on how the government could provide assistance to their initiative, said that additional space would do wonders for the initiative. Akhilesh Yaday provided space at Gomtinagar to Sheroes, which enabled them to enhance the activities of the Cafe and setup a rehabilitation centre in the premises. Till date, over 150 acid attack victims have been provided assistance in the form of treatment and compensation.
Kaniz Fatima, of Arvana, who had been instrumental in getting the Sheroes Hangout Cafe to open in Arvana, said that though she has spent a very large part of her life in the Middle East, coming to Udaipur just a few years back and observing the culture and people here have been a valuable input to her as a person and professional.
Sheroes’ “Pay as You Wish” model allows visitors to pay as per their wish, for the food and beverage they have at the Cafe during their visit – a model which speaks for the conceptualisation of the Cafe, of not being a mere commercial and money centric organisation.
Shabbir Husain owner of Arvana was very explicit in his opinions, when during his address to the attendees, he said that Media should play a big role in promoting a cause for women and making the administration and law managers to ensure that woman exploitation be strictly punished to ensure complete disappearance of such victimisation.
In the concluding part of the conference, Hasan and Deepak Parihar said that they are pleased with Sheroes willing to be a part of Arvana, and their presence will ensure a completely new perspective and identity for Udaipur both across the nation as well as globally.