Sidhant Ghosh, Founder of Opportunity Café, says that the café was started as a solution to a problem - Employment of orphan autistic children
Inspiring Stories

A Barista, A Dreamer, And The Opportunity Café

If you are in Kolkata, you cannot miss visiting Opportunity Café! The baristas welcome with you with a smile and serve delicious food. Their warmth stays with you long after you've left

Written By: | Edited By: | May 30, 2024

New Delhi: Bikash Kumar has a dream. “My wish is to be a good person, earn enough money to buy land and build a home.” He is a barista at Opportunity Café in Kolkata. “It feels good to work here,” he says. Whenever you visit the café, Bikash and his team of baristas welcome you with a smile and their warmth stays with you long after you’ve left.

Bikash is autistic , as are some of his colleagues., But this does not deter them from dreaming of building a home, becoming a chef, a singer or an artist.. Ever since they started working at the café, they have found the courage to dream.

Also Read: From Data Entry To Dream Cafés: Aditi’s Success Story

Sidhant Ghosh, Founder of Opportunity Café, says that the café was started as a solution to a problem – Employment of orphan autistic children. They were all employed at some point. But were often rejected by their employers for not being as efficient as their able-bodied counterparts. They faced discrimination, bullying, physical and sexual abuse at their workplaces. Sidhant recalls,

All these youngsters have lived in our shelter home since childhood. Since the law does not allow shelter homes to keep children past the age of 18, they had to go out and work. But employment was a nightmare for them. I was tired of hearing that these kids are hopeless and they will not be able to do anything.

That’s when Opportunity Café was born. Mid of 2023. For the next six months, the youngsters underwent training – from cooking, serving, catering, cleaning to interacting with customers. Sidhant says,

The aim was not just employability, but also making them self-reliant and spreading the message of inclusivity.

The Opportunity Café employs around nine young autistic individuals.and five girls rescued from human trafficking. Sweety Das, a regular visitor of the café, shares her experience,

As soon as you enter, you are welcomed with a huge smile. I keep coming back for these smiles and also the special pizza.

Also Read: Once Ashamed Of His Blindness, He Provides Livelihood To People With Disabilities

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