Yash Charitable Trust empowers autistic adults through employment and already runs a successful dabba service in Mumbai. Their next goal is to start their own cafe in Juhu!
An NGO in Mumbai has envisioned a different future for autistic adults in the city. This is what Yash Charitable Trust strives to change – and already has for eight autistic adults. Arpan is a dabba service in Juhu managed by Yash Charitable Trust. They deliver nutritious home-cooked meals, prepared by these adults, giving them independent lives of their own. Most people are under the presumption that adults with developmental disabilities cannot work or earn and be as self-sustaining as other adults, and are of the idea that they must be admitted to healthcare centres. However, YCT believes that they must be treated inclusively.
They are skilled workers and earn an honest living at YCT!
Arpan has proved that the people who work there today have a strong work ethic, can learn to do things like cook, play an instrument and use a computer. They are focused on every task assigned to them, don’t want many holidays and love their jobs. Currently, there are eight autistic adults employed at Arpan. They are enthusiastic about their work. Some are good at peeling and cutting, some prefer packing, some enjoy cooking. Everybody has a role they love and everybody loves to deliver food as they get to meet new people.
YCT also holds activities to challenge the adults and constantly exercise their minds; which in turn makes them better, quicker learners over time. Some of the activities include classes in computers, music, dance, etc. One girl plays the sitar wonderfully while another sings.
But YCT isn’t stopping there… they’re dreaming big!
Many parents of such adults approach YCT, asking them to take in their children and keep them ‘occupied’. Sushama, the managing trustee, strongly disapproves of this thought. These adults are talented and eager to learn and deserve to be gainfully employed just like any other adult. Though YCT is willing to take in more adults and empower more autistic people, lack of funds and space holds them back.
From this arose the idea of starting a café, to employ more adults and expand their reach. They turned to crowdfunding, and set a modest goal of ₹10 lakhs to cover rent, necessary renovation and initial start-up costs of the upcoming café.
Their initiative got them the support of 84 people online who help them raise close to ₹ 8 lakhs! Looks like their dream is about to come true soon!