Coffee with a Cause !

I am a sucker for coffee….and what’s better than a warm cup of coffee that helps others! Wondering what I am talking about?

Well the Costa Coffee Chain in Mumbai (and other parts of India) employs Hearing impaired. Isn’t that FANTASTIC!

The baristas are seen cheerfully taking customer orders, making coffee, serving tables and everything else that comes with the job – all without a single word uttered between them but delivery with a Smile ( always!)

This is a new concept that’s being introduced to cafes and work places as India Inc. discovers that deaf workers can, despite their disability, bring in unique skills and contribute meaningfully to jobs.

RJ Corp, which represents KFC, Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee in India now employs around 450 deaf people in KFC and Costa – 200 in Kolkata alone – sourcing them mainly from local NGOs Silence and Sarthak.The company’s target is to have at least two such people in each of its outlets.

In fact there is a rise in demand for them from companies like Titan, IBM, MphasiS, Café Coffee Day, and the Taj Group of Hotels.

These companies are playing a major role in changing social perception that those who cannot hear need charity to survive. They are empowering the hearing impaired and recognizing that they can actually be silent yet hard workers!

Another concept that is fast catching on is the Spa services by the blind (which I will blog about in detail soon) and courier delivery by deaf.

Schools for the deaf too, are being proactive and are assisting with vocational training programs and placements. Training and communication is done completely in Indian sign language…

So the next time you want to catch up over a coffee…choose a Costa….and give a   “voice to silence!” 🙂

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