The fact that Café Positive is run by HIV+ youngsters is the best thing about it. It works for a social cause that helps in eradicating negative feelings and thoughts about these warriors. There are still sections of society who look down on these people and isolate them but the kind-hearted Kallol Ghosh started this café to put an end to this. Let’s take you through the journey of the café and what motivated him to go about with it.
Café Positive – Introduction
Café Positive is a café which is one of its kinds that is tucked away in a tiny garage in Jodhpur Park in Kolkata. The most unique thing about the café is that it is run by a team of HIV+ teenagers, both men, and women. It is the dream come true of 11 HIV+ teenagers. Kallol Ghosh, the brain behind Café Positive, came into their lives as their guardian angel and savior by leading the path of bringing happiness into their lives and work towards eradicating negative thoughts about these HIV+ people.
Kallol Ghosh, a social worker, founder of Café Positive, and a guardian angel of these teenagers had a word with the Ministry of Human Resources Development and the UN putting forward his idea. After volunteering with organizations like UNICEF and UN, Kallol Ghosh established Organization for Friends and Energies and Resources called OFFER, in the year 1986. It is a non-governmental organization that provides healthcare, education, and shelter facilities to underprivileged children and youngsters who are affected by HIV/AIDS. When these children turn 18 they are trained to be efficient employees of the café.
As always, the beginning is never a cakewalk rather it is filled with hardships, and once one overcomes that, he or she is halfway there, close to success. Mr. Kallol Ghosh ran from one door to another to find a suitable place for setting up the cafe. The moment he mentioned the HIV+ teenagers who would be running it the owners slammed the door on his face. In some places even if they said that they were okay with it, they said that their family and neighbors wouldn’t approve of it and would be displeased. None of them cooperated or were appreciative of this initiative.
The success story
After six months of place hunting and facing rejections there came a day when Kallol Ghosh finally found a small area to start with the café. Indrajyoti Dasgupta, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Kolkata offered his garage area when he found out that these teenagers have been looking for a decent and appropriate place to set up their café for more than six months. Initially, he was a bit skeptical about giving his garage space as it was comparatively smaller in size than what they were looking for. After finding out for how long they were looking for a place he gave it to them and told them that they can make their beginning from there and then spread their wings with time.
A little more about Café Positive
This unique café has hosted Bengal’s most loved cricketer and former captain, Sourav Ganguly as well as the current Indian captain Virat Kohli. Café Positive has celebrated various events like birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, and book launches. Kallol Ghosh believes that when people drink coffee and eat the food prepared by the HIV+ teenagers they help him show the world that HIV is nothing but age-old misconceptions. HIV+ people are no different than other human beings they are just as human as us. In the last two years, it has been accepted by everyone but it has been a success ever since its inception.
Café Positive has been featured on the pages of the Washington Post, New York Times, and several other national newspapers. Their inspiring and unique story has also been covered by BBC and CNN. The tagline of Café Positive mentioned in their menu card reads, “Coffee for a cause.”
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