Meet the Differently-Abled Workforce of Café Arpan, Mumbai. Fundraising helped them thrive!

By: Astha & Chiara

Published On: April 12, 2021

One in 500 people in India are diagnosed with a type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 


Most people in the rural parts of the country have no knowledge about autism as a disorder, let alone the access to any treatment or care facilities. Although autism awareness has sparked in urban settings with NGOs taking initiatives and setting up facilities for the differently-abled, the social stigma poses many hindrances for the people on the spectrum to make space for themselves in the society. 


In 2018, Yash Charitable Trust took to the aid of autistic people with the aim of opening a cafe to create employment for people with developmental disabilities. They thus started a fundraiser on ImpactGuru. Within 16 days, they were able to raise Rs 7.5 lakh with the contributions of 16 generous donors. This marked the inauguration of Cafe Arpan in Bandra, Mumbai. 


We can help them piece the puzzle back together


Despite receiving unconditional support from their family as they grow up, autistic individuals face several hurdles in the world outside. While gainful employment is a necessity for them to stand on their own feet, employers often reject them due to their common perception of autism being ‘abnormal’. Most people are not nearly sensitized towards the disorder to provide the differently-abled with a conducive environment. They often end up losing their jobs due to dismissive and impatient employers. 


However, there is still hope for the differently-abled. Only with the help of a multitude of organisations, they are taking baby steps to gradually rise above their circumstances despite all the odds. 


The Help 


In 2018, Yash Charitable Trust took to the aid of autistic people with the aim of opening a cafe to create employment for people with developmental disabilities. They thus started a fundraiser on ImpactGuru. Within 16 days, they were able to raise Rs 7.5 lakh with the contributions of 16 generous donors. This marked the inauguration of Cafe Arpan in Bandra, Mumbai. 


Their spectacular team of differently-abled heroes smoothly ran the cafe and served their customers until the pandemic struck the nation in 2020. When the country went into lockdown, the cafe had to shut. With no customers visiting, they needed revenue to reopen. The NGO Yash Charitable Trust turned to the kindness of the people on ImpactGuru and started a fundraiser. A whopping amount of Rs 30 lakh was raised by 281 donors! 


Thanks to ImpactGuru donors, the employees at Aparna Cafe continue to thrive and happily run their cafe against all odds.


They dared to stand up and stand out! 


Autistic employees at Aparna Cafe have really shined through as they built confidence after having managed the cafe all by themselves. Take a peek into the minds and lives of these special people!



“I want to come to the cafe everyday.”

- Aarti


Aarti would mostly spend her time home waiting for her single mother to get back from work. However, the 34-year-old completely transformed after working at the cafe. She is now known to be the life of the party wherever she goes! Working at the cafe keeps her busy and motivated to pursue her other interests as she continues to bloom. 


“I felt bad when the cafe shut. Now, I am happy here.” 

  - Darren 


When the cafe shut, Darren was extremely disheartened missing his peers at home. He couldn’t stop smiling the first day he returned to work at the cafe. Darren is one such employee who never needs to be reminded of his chores at the cafe. He now spends most of his time doing chores and interacting with his fellow employees. 


“I am a working man again!”

- Nikhil


Their very own counter assistant at Cafe Arpan, Nikhil is the most diligent employee there. He often performs bank-related tasks for the cafe. He is keen to learn about the share market and finances as he keeps on working at the cafe. 


These special heroes have proven that they are DIFFERENT and NOT LESS. However, people diagnosed with any type of autism spectrum disorder are highly sensitive as their senses can be easily stimulated. 


To venture into the world with confidence, they must be equipped with certain soft skills. But the cost of continued autism therapies is unaffordable to many. Fundraising can be the quickest easiest option to garner support from the hundreds of donors. 


Make the world a better place for people with autism and help them shine with gainful employment! 



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