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Mitti Café @ Supreme Court: A Symbol Of Empowerment & Inclusivity

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller

On November 10, 2023, the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, inaugurated Mitti Cafe on the premises of the Supreme Court of India, signaling a significant move towards inclusivity by the apex institution of our country’s judiciary. This development conveyed a resounding message to the nation, emphasizing the paramount importance of inclusive growth, wherein every individual is afforded equal opportunities to lead a life of dignity. As the daughter of a lawyer practicing at the Supreme Court, I had the privilege of learning about this initiative in detail, and I eagerly anticipate visiting the cafeteria soon. Witnessing my father’s joy and pride as he shared this positive news further underscored the significance of this inclusive endeavor, reflecting a holistic approach embraced by legal professionals and stakeholders alike.

Mitti Café is a social initiative of the Mitti Social Initiative Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing employment and livelihood to individuals with disabilities. Established in 2017, Mitti Café currently operates 41 cafes across the country, offering employment opportunities to adults with disabilities such as visual impairments, cerebral palsy, and paraplegia. The initiative also strives to promote inclusivity and accessibility in society.

According to a study conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) titled The Price of Exclusion: The Economic Consequences of Excluding People with Disabilities from the World of Work, the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the economy has the potential to significantly boost global GDP by 3% to 7%,

By providing employment opportunities, we empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic independence and contribute meaningfully to society. It’s heartening to see organizations advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities, who have historically faced marginalization. In today’s times, there is a growing awareness of the importance of diversity, equality, and inclusivity in building a holistic society. Policies of affirmative action and positive discrimination aim to create a level playing field for individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have fair and equal opportunities.

It’s crucial to recognize that individuals with disabilities should not be seen as objects of charity, but rather as individuals with agency and the ability to participate in various aspects of life. Unfortunately, inequality can exacerbate the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, leading to traumatic experiences and mental health issues. Initiatives like Mitti Café demonstrate how involvement in the hospitality industry can lead to positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities, fostering interactions with customers, colleagues, and employers. Through such initiatives, we can work towards a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

As someone with a sibling with disability, I understand the importance of treating such individuals with dignity and respect. They don’t want to be seen as victims or dependent on others. Instead, they deserve access to resources and equal opportunities to lead fulfilling lives. My journey with my sister, who was diagnosed with a rare eye genetic disorder called Cone Rod Dystrophy in 2018, has been transformative. Initially, it was challenging for our family to come to terms with her diagnosis. However, witnessing her resilience and positivity has been a source of inspiration for me every day. My sister’s unwavering spirit and determination have taught me to embrace life fully and appreciate the blessings we have. Rather than dwelling on our challenges, I’ve learned to adopt a positive outlook and cultivate inner strength, inspired by her courage. It’s humbling to see how individuals like my sister face life’s toughest battles with smiles on their faces. They remind us of the importance of resilience, optimism, and the power of the human spirit. As a proud sister, I am committed to supporting and advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have the opportunities and resources they need to thrive.

I vividly recall the overwhelming feeling when I came across the news of Mitti Café opening its doors in the Supreme Court. Witnessing judges and lawyers interacting with the staff in such a wholesome manner filled me with hope and optimism. It served as a poignant reminder that our society is evolving and embracing inclusivity. This heartening example underscores the importance of creating more inclusive opportunities for the community. To break down the perpetuating stereotypes that act as barriers, we must undergo a dynamic attitudinal shift towards persons with disabilities. It’s imperative to adopt a bottom-up approach to disability inclusion, wherein these individuals are recognized as active members of society and the economy. To achieve this, we need a fundamental shift in commitment, solidarity, financing, and action. By fostering an environment of inclusivity and understanding, we can pave the way for a more equitable and compassionate society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

As students of North Campus, you have the opportunity to visit Mitti Café, located near Hansraj College, University of Delhi, in Kamla Nagar. Renowned for their delicious kulhad chai and sandwiches, a visit to these cafes promises to be an unforgettable experience. Beyond indulging in culinary delights, interacting with the staff at Mitti Café can offer a transformative experience.

By engaging with individuals who have overcome disabilities to thrive in their roles, you may find yourself gaining a new perspective on life. Witnessing their resilience and determination firsthand can inspire a shift in your outlook, fostering empathy and greater understanding towards life. So, don’t miss out on the chance to visit Mitti Café and embark on a journey of discovery and self-reflection!

Samiksha Sharma is a Chapter Member of the Editorial Department at Her Campus Delhi North. In her journey of exploring different domains, she is inquisitive to write about entertainment, politics, concurrent issues, college life, and friendships. Besides this, she is a third year student of Political Science at Indraprastha College for Women. She was also the member of the Editorial team at National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit of IPCW and has written impactful articles for an NGO during her internship. She has also done an online content writing course with Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT) Official, and all of this has indeed awakened a passion for writing in her. In her free time, Samiksha enjoys watching Netflix, political satires and stand-ups on Youtube and other platforms, and listening to evergreen Bollywood songs and devotional music. She is a tea person who loves interacting with new people and exploring famous street food spots in and around Delhi-NCR. Besides all of this, she considers herself as a gastronome that loves cooking and would never say “no” to dancing or having discussions on politics, history and latest trends!