(Left) The wall of knowledge and encouragement of Hope Café located in Midland, Dimapur. (Right) Khareimy focused in her work, Hope Café, Dimapur. (Morung photo)
Dimapur | December 30
One glance at the Hope Café in Midland, Dimapur can easily make anyone fall in love with its structure and interior designing. However, the enthralling factor of the café happens to be something else, unknown to those apart from its customers. A visit was made and the discovery injected in a realization that a 500 words article wouldn’t be able to contain its cosmic sublime nature.
Welcomed with a smile, our orders were taken by a woman who was particularly very silent, yet vigilant and little was it known that, we’ll be leaving the café knowing Khareimy was not just a quite woman, rather an extraordinary person who possessed covetous potentials. The next thing our eyes fell on was the frames hung on the wall, opposite to the painting of the café’s logo and a motivational bible verse neatly written. The basic sign language and motivational quotes were the ones framed and that was enough for the light bulbs to go off in our heads.
Although from the Tangkhul tribe, Khareimy was born and brought up in Dimapur and found education in, the Deaf Biblical Ministry School located in Naharbari, Dimapur. It was fate that she studied in that particular school because in few years time, it would be that school’s principal who will introduce Hope Café to her.
From a very young age, Khareimy was introduced to various activities such as weaving, knitting and accessory making, thereby giving no room to doubt and unnecessary self-pity. When asked if she ever worried about being unemployed, her reply was quick and confident “No.” Growing up she learnt that her hard work wouldn’t betray her and that fuel was more than enough for the journey to keep progressing.
Talking about her passion, Khareimy smiling from ear to ear, beautifully in sign language said it was “baking.” Before, joining Hope Café she worked as a beautician in Pune, however had to return home because of her parent’s concern of her safety, which she obliged without hesitation because she knew her passion was somewhere else among baking powder.
When asked about further ambitions, she replied about having none while adding on that, Hope Café had been the door to her dream job. As she talked about using her talents for God’s glory and how Hope Café has helped her make it possible, she took out a bracelet and used it as an example to share the salvation. Here, she found delight at how she wasn’t treated differently, which was the opposite back in Pune.
Though Khareimy doesn’t have the power of speech, her thoughts and opinion have counterbalanced it. One of her many emphasis, is the need for parents to never shy away but be a constant encouragement for their children who are physically challenged and mentioned that, till the end of time, she will be grateful to her parents for breaking the stigma.
Communicating with Khareimy was made easy by Akumla who works as a staff and interpreter in the café. Akumla also stated that Khareimy was very witty and knew how to handle crisis. At present, the Hope Café has six employees who have hearing challenges. However, their impairment has not made the cakes they baked or the coffees they brewed any less tasty and professional.
The Hope Café is an initiative by the Eden enterprises and Ministry with its founding purpose dedicated for the community often over looked, especially in terms of employment. The Ministry has established cafes in Midland and Duncan, Dimapur providing job opportunities for the community whose challenges are two of their common senses – speech and hearing. A plan for the third café to be constructed in Kohima is presently being considered, said Akumla.
The Hope Café and Bakery has also received an Honour Award for their exemplary contribution and support to motivate and uplift the hearing and speech impaired youth to produce remarkable results, by the TechKilla Technologies Pvt Ltd, Delhi.
The writer is currently an intern in The Morung Express