Echoes Café in Delhi is a very unique place. It is the only café in Delhi which is entirely run by deaf and mute staff. The idea is a very noble one. It allows for social upliftment of impaired individuals proving that one need not need all senses to be functioning to be worthy.
It also helps fight against the stigma of disabilities. Customers are made aware of sign language and are also sensitized to their situation. Further, it helps fight the notion treating impaired individuals differently, rather than the same as any other individual.
Light bulbs are used to call waiters to your table and placards are used when requested. Differently-abled individuals often face discrimination and fall prey to mental health issues. They are usually made to feel different and not worthy. They feel dependent on their families or other individuals and often feel guilty for being a burden on them.
Echoes has provided a safe place for them to prove they are no different and quite capable to handle daily wage jobs as anyone without any impairment would. Sign language is also incorporated into the workings of the café. This helps in desensitizing hearing and speaking impairment to the customers and also aids in smooth running of the café.
The café was an idea of a group of friends who wanted to socially uplift differently-abled people, and what better way to do it than providing them with jobs! It helps the staff feel financially independent and gives them a sense of joy and pride to be in a working environment where they are respected by their peers and are considered equal to each other.
Echoes is an amazing and successful example that individuals with impairments can be used in the workforce of the country and should not be made to feel any different than the next person.
The café serves delicious food and has a seating capacity of 40. The franchise is also extended to other metropolitan cities and the owners plan on extending the chain of cafés to other parts of the country as well.
It is truly an appreciated effort, not only by the deaf and mute community, but also by everyone in the society.
We applaud the effort of the group of friends, who took their idea and made it happen. They have truly made their voices heard, even though inaudible.