Jamshedpur’s La Gravitea café is well known for it’s famous 105 international varieties of tea, but there is also another factor that makes this café special. The cafeteria has employed differently-abled athletes, most of whom are hearing impaired, so that they have means for a sustained living.

Of the 7 differently-abled champs hired, few of them are Olympians and medal holders. Guruveer Kaur is a 2015 Gold-medallist in Badminton at the Olympics for specially-abled, while Suggi is a National Athlete and has won several accolades. All of them had one thing in common before joining the café – they had made India proud but lacked recognition. Their accomplishments in the field of sports didn’t provide them basic sustainability in life. In fact, some of these women were previously unemployed and were constant job hunters.

An ex-vice president of Kohinoor Steel and founder of the restaurant, Avinash Duggar explains it to Hindustan Times of how one day he met one his hearing and speech impaired employees at his tea kiosk, and that inspired his current business idea.  Duggar says, for him La Graviteais equivalent to realizing a dream.

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Guruveer Kaur explains with the help of sign language , “Our struggle to win laurels for the country is no less challenging than our normal counterparts but one can see the disparity in the treatment meted out to us.” Kaur is an Olympic gold and two bronze medalist, while Suggi Kumari has won more than 50 medals in athletics at various national meets for special players. Another employee Monika Kumari is a national gold medalist in Badminton and would be representing the country soon at the Special Olympics in Seattle, USA.

Despite achieving honours for the country, the girls are hugely disappointed that they still have to struggle to find suitable employment that will enable them to live a life not dependent on anyone for survival.  They also feel that the government needs to make provisions for athletes like them.

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Meanwhile, Duggar is planning next to employ at least 100 more Speech and hearing impaired women in his soon-to-be-launched business venture. La Gravitea is all set to open up cafeterias in Ranchi too, at the airport and railway station. It’s a unique initiative, that definitely should be supported. so next time you are in Jamshedpur, do drop by. Should be an inspiring visit.

Feature Image Credit: hindustantimes.com

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