The city based NGO, Athrout-the helping hand, has come up with an innovative initiative, my bike cafe, to help the unemployed youth of Kashmir. In the first go, six movable cafes were inaugurated on March 25, 2019.
In their first permitted site, inside the campus of the government medical college, the students and faculty were seen enjoying the ‘safe and great’ taste of the food. In a video shot inside the college campus and shared on social networking site Facebook, a student was appreciating the cart for having the good taste and maintaining the quality.
Thinking over the idea of starting an initiative for the unemployed youth of Kashmir, Bashir Nadwi, the chairman of the Athrout says it was around two months back he asked the desired youth to register their names with the NGO.
“We received around 25 applications but after the verification, we found these six youths most deserving as they had no other source of income and the families were dependent on them. They are destitute and literally resource-less people,” Nadwi said. These six youth are from districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal and Kupwara.
For these carts, the Athrout says they had to make an investment of Rs 50,000 to get these carts. “It is these people who have to run it butAthrout will be supervising for the quality of the food. We have promised to give hygienic food with great taste,” says Nadwi.
He also said that he and his team have approached the universities, hospitals, schools and colleges to give them permission to operate from inside their campuses but “these places are already occupied so we are waiting for the permissions.”
“We want to be placed at these locations so that they will be appreciated for what they are doing,” he added.
After working for two days on the ‘my bike cafe’ the youth from Kupwara, Nadwi informed has sought a leave for some days so that he can get all of his belongings from home and rent a room in Srinagar. “He was so overwhelmed to earn a livelihood. I could see his happiness and satisfaction when he was checking his earnings on the first day.”
Unlike the rest of the world, the street food in Kashmir is slightly off the mark. This is primarily because of the use of containers. The Athroutinitiative has addressed this basic flaw in its new intervention. This intervention will actually help in improving the quality of street food. Normally in most of the cities across the world, lunches are usually taken outside the home by the working class. But in Srinagar, the crisis was the presentation and the cleanliness.
This innovation can come handy in hospitals, educational institutions and the major public and private sector offices.