The moment you step into this cafe, you know there is something special about the place. Is it the plastic chairs, the white coloured tables, the standee which reads – ‘Working hard is the key for good life, but no one can work empty stomach’? Or is it the 23-year-old owner sitting behind the cash counter?
‘Food here is served with love and affection’, reads the quote written on the entrance to Aditi’s corner.
A tiny cafe located in Navi Mumbai, it is missed by no one.
Aditi’s corner was started on 1 January 2016 and it serves all kinds of snacks – Maggi, eggs, sandwiches, tea, coffee, etc. The cafe also serves lunch which is prepared by Aditi and her mother Reena Verma.
“Aditi always had a knack for cooking. Sometimes, she used to watch videos on YouTube and prepare dishes. So my husband, cousin and I decided to do help her realise her dream,” said Reena to The Logical Indian.
The family has a business of transport and distribution and the cafe is set up in the same building of their office. Aditi used to accompany her parents to the office, but her passion lied somewhere else; she wanted to start something of her own.
Aditi has Down’s syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which affects one in every 800-1,000 live births. But this never deterred her from chasing after her goals.
“In the past one and half years, I’ve seen Aditi change. She has become a more confident person; people come and tell me how good a job she is doing,” added her proud mother.
Aditi runs the cafe all by herself – client handling, phone calls, orders, inventory and accounts. Sometimes, when her parents are unable to pick her up, she takes an auto home, which is 6 km away.
From 10 in the morning to six in the evening, Aditi is in her cafe; and after a long day’s work, she comes back home and sits with the accounts.
“I love working in the cafe and always wanted one of my own. With my parents’ support, I have learned to manage the work myself,” said Aditi
Every day, she gets 70-85 orders and makes sure they are fulfilled.
Aditi’s parents support her on every step but they also know that giving her independence is essential.
“Accept your child for who they are,” said Aditi’s father, Amit Verma. “Kids who suffer from Down’s syndrome are lovely children and I feel blessed to have Aditi. The key is to give them space. They are thorough with their work and are dedicated individuals. Once you teach them something, they will retain it for life. There is no need to overprotect them. The children need to live their lives on their terms,” he added.
The Logical Indian community congratulates Aditi for showing immense strength to achieve her goals. She is an inspiration to us all. We also commend Aditi’s parents for believing and supporting her to achieve her dreams.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.