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Indian Restaurants Staffed By Deaf People

WATCH: Deaf News - Mirchi & Mime and Chai Pe Charcha restaurants, Deaf waiters staff serve imaginative takes on classic Indian cuisine in Mumbai.

MUMBAI, India -- He will constantly look at your lips to figure out what you're saying, without saying a word in return.

Meanwhile, he will note your order down, with his colleagues mirroring his actions at other tables. This is the scene you will find at two restaurants in the city -- Mirchi and Mime, and Chai Pe Charcha -- which have employed only Deaf people as their service staff.

At the Powai-based Mirchi and Mime, which has 25 Deaf employees, a waiter's uniform reads, 'Sign Language is my super power, what's yours?'. With inscrutable countenance and swift-hand gestures, he would ensure that your order is placed correctly.

Related Story: Mirchi and Mime - Mumbai's First Deaf Eatery

The year-old restaurant conducted an eight-week training programme before selecting these employees. "A lot of them had never taken up a single job in their lives. Their parents had accepted that they would remain jobless. But some others, interestingly, have been the sole earning members of their families," said Prashant Issar, the co-founder of Mirchi and Mime.

Issar, who has himself picked up sign language, added: "We were very certain that we had to capitalise on their abilities instead of focusing on their disabilities and our staff, as such, more dedicated than others. They do not have clutter in their minds."

Talking about her experience of working at the restaurant, Priyanka Singh said through sign language: "TV and movie celebrities appreciate us and salute us for the confidence with which we carry out our duties and bring them joy."

Meanwhile, at the quirky Chai Pe Charcha in Lower Parel -- a haven for tea lover -- there are not only board games kept on the tables with rustic yet colourful walls all around, but there is also a unique staff demographic to top it all. The restaurant has employed two Deaf people as members of its service staff.

Anil Kohli, who himself has had physical disabilities since birth, founded the restaurant only six months ago. He said: "I am blessed with a good family and finances, but not everyone else is. It is too easy to write a cheque for charity and feel good about it, but we're not empowering the unfortunate by doing the same and, instead, only making them more dependent."

People often get surprised when Joel Pereira, one of the employees, rings their bell to deliver food and hands over the bill without saying a word. He said: "People often look at me in shock. They must wonder how a Deaf man can deliver food. But once they gulp down that fact, they smile."

SOURCE - Daily News & Analysis

Mirchi and Mime is a local restaurant located in Powai, Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It's staff chiefly consists of people with hearing and speech disability. Most of the activities are undertaken by the staff who communicate with the patrons through sign language, images of whose variations accompany every single item in the food menu.

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Related: #Deaf Restaurant - #Deaf Employees
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