This café Mumbai supports transgender community and provides a space of acceptance and non-judgement for people to visit and interact.
The internet is an interesting place that gives us access to a world of information and a way to learn about the world around us. On some days the internet makes us laugh, on other days it makes us wonder. Food related content has always been a large chunk of the internet and today we learn about a story where food has not only been a source of physical sustenance but also a way to reclaim themselves through food.
While there are new cafés popping up like mushrooms in big cities every single day, a new café has caught the attention of the people of the internet. However, this new eatery is unlike most others. Bambai Nazariya, the café in question, not only promises delicious food but is also taking a step ahead to empower the queer community of Mumbai.
The café first came into the public eye when a video was shared by the Instagram handle Bombay Foodie Tales. The video shares that the cozy café was started with the intention of giving employment opportunities to the transgender community of the city. The video started trending almost as soon as it hit the internet.
Bambai Nazariya, located in Andheri, has the slogan “Nazariya badlo, nazara badlega”, which literally translates to change your perspective to change your world. As per Diego Miranda, founder, Bambai Nazariya, the idea is to give transgender equal opportunities and make people visit the cafe to know more about transgender and also enjoy food cooked by them.
‘It was my father’s vision to build a space where people can visit without the fear of being misgendered and where acceptance and non-judgement prevail,’ said Miranda. Miranda said that while it took him seven years to work on his vision, he is glad that he took a step to bring a change he knew the society needed, a change that was long overdue.
“I have a fantastic team on board ‘Bambai Nazariya’, here to drive this change and break the cycle one small step at a time. The café is completely run by transgender employees. We have trained them to manage the front end as well as the culinary skills. So, from the kitchen to the services, everyone is transgender here. It is basically like a house where you come and get tooo know more about them, eat food prepared by them and experience their warm hospitality. We have built an ambience that gives old Bombay feels with a homely environment.”
Other than its noble purpose, the café is famous for its ‘pink chai’ and as per their social media page, from pav bhaji, keema pav and misal pav, they serve all sorts of comfort food to its guests and it is like a home away from home, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Besides the delicious food, the place is also decorated in a cozy and welcoming fashion. Further, from the chef to the staff, the café employees are entirely from the transgender community.
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The video has garnered over 86k likes and a lot of positive reactions from netizens! People were extremely impressed with the efforts of the owners to create such an excellent opportunity for the members of the transgender community. Many expressed their eagerness to visit and taste the food.
The cafe has been receiving a lot of guests, giving us a chance to interact with people and show them that the transgender community is not limited to begging and sex work,” said Mahi Poojari (she/her), Host, Bambai Nazariya.
The queer community has, historically, constantly had to fight for their basic rights for existence. It is truly heartwarming to see people of the LGBTQIA+ community are on the right path to progress and moving forward in different fields.
“This is the first transgender cafe, opened in Andheri, Versova. The father of our boss dreamt of doing something for the LGBTQI+ community. It’s very difficult for our community to get jobs. We only get interviews,” an employee said, when talking about the café.
Another employee said, “I want to thank the cafe owners Diego Miranda and Glenice D’Sa who came up with this idea and started this initiative. They have given us a great opportunity and opened new doors for us. We feel really nice when they visit us again and call us by our names. They enjoy the ambience here that we have created and we do our best to provide them with a great café experience. We also receive visits from the members of the LGBTQ community and I love how they are able to just be themselves and enjoy time with their friends without the fear of being stared at or judged by the staff and customers”.
More power to the owners and the employees of this amazing initiative. Onwards and upwards!