Chhaya Cafe Dehradun

Chhaya Cafe Dehradun
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Chhaya Café…

We entered in the café after a long day of working in Dehradun.
The cafe looked small from the outside but mind it…it was not. It has a magnificent view of the valley. A beautiful place to relax. Since it was getting dark I decided to come next day again, I wanted to see the beauty that surrounds the café and the story that speaks about it. We came back the next day again. Ordered some delicious potpie, ice teas, pastas and salads.
And met the owner of the Chhaya Cafe Dehradun, Ms. Annamma M. Ebenezer. We had a long chat. She is not only the owner of this café, but also runs the Women’s Development Society ACME of India, leading a group of women working with her in the café, in tailoring, printing and quilting. I was surprised to see the variety that this place offers.Chhaya Cafe Valley Dehradun

Annamma started slowly by training women challenged by life in many aspects. Now many years later nearly 30 women are supporting their families by working with Annamma. And in last 15 years she has trained more than 600 women, who are now either working in some organisation or have started their own business.

One thing Annamma was very firm about. She said she doesn’t want to sell the sad stories of the women working here, instead their talent should be the priority, as she has seen many NGOs coming to them and trying to sell their stories.

Annamma M. Ebenezer Chhaya Cafe Dehradun

It was worth dropping by this cosy and welcoming café at Rajpur road in Dehradun. I loved the yummilicious food as well as the whole experience of meeting Annamma.
You should go visit the Chhaya Cafe Dehradun and try the delicious potpies and cooling iced teas knowing you support Annamma’s efforts to empower and employ women in India.

Rurban – the new India

Rurban – the new India
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Up in the north, away from the big city civilization, you might want to get connected to the civil life. So I thought I would share some of my experiences. At the time of my travel to the Himalayas I reached out to many people, who grabbed my attention. While visiting my friend Sumit in Dehradun the word “Rurban”, which he used constantly, struck to me. It’s not a new word, it was used many decades ago; he described it as mix of rural and urban. People who have skills for a rural life, but aspirations for an urban one are in this category and we call it a process of “Rurbanization”. The major developed countries have gone through it and India is going through it right now. Sumit at Tanjun Associates leads the programs, which provide the “Rurban” to get the best of both worlds. This LSTR (livelihood skills, training and research center) is run by him and his team in Saharanpur. There wasn’t any electricity supply as such, it was run on solar energy and it’s actually good to see that they have a very unique idea of building houses from combining bamboo and concrete. I actually stayed in one of those during my visit, it looked very antique and rustic from outside because of the bamboo wall which had concrete inside and having all modern amenities. It’s stylish and durable too. Another thing caught my eyes was a wooden hand loom, it was difficult for me to even balance all the pedals in one stroke. The House rests in the middle of mango and guava trees and creates a very peaceful place.
You have to come and visit this fantastic place,

Nanda