Solidarity Foundation and Amadeus launch ‘Pride Café’ to empower LBGTQIA+ community with livelihood opportunities

· Amadeus and Solidarity Foundation launch mobile food trucks dubbed the ‘Pride Café’ to raise awareness about the LGBTQIA+ community, promote inclusivity, and provide a safe haven for engagement

· A unique initiative, 12 members of the LGBTQIA+ community trained to operate the mobile café in an egalitarian and stigma free working environment

January 10, 2023, Bengaluru, India: In partnership with Bengaluru-based NGO Solidarity Foundation, Amadeus is launching the ‘Pride Café’. This first-of-its-kind initiative in India aims to empower the LGBTQIA+ community with livelihood opportunities. As a part of the initiative, Amadeus is sponsoring two mobile food trucks that employ 12 members from the LGBTQIA+ community, seven of whom have already been recruited.

The community members have been trained and equipped in culinary and customer service skills to successfully manage food truck operations. The official launch of the café was inaugurated by acclaimed actress and theatre personality, Ms. Arundhati Nag, and renowned activist, singer and drag queen Mr. Alex Mathew, popularly known as Maya the Drag Queen.

This unique initiative is supported by many organizations including WeWork (Location partner), Agape Hospitalities Consultants (Operations Partner), and the Aravani Art Project and Desavous (Design Partner) who joined the Solidarity Foundation, and Amadeus to launch Pride Café.

The food trucks, which began operations on January 9th, 2023, were painted by the Aravani Art Project and will continue to offer breakfast, lunch, snacks, and tea/coffee services at the WeWork Galaxy on Residency Road, Bengaluru. Additionally, Jogappas, a traditional transgender community shared their most revered and beloved music for the festivities, while Maya performed at the launch event.

The project’s vision is to facilitate an enriched dialogue between community members and society. As per a livelihood needs assessment of the LGBTQIA+ communities (conducted by Solidarity Foundation, Sangama, and Best Practices Foundation), the average daily income in the community is INR 384. The exclusion of the community from the workforce stands as the primary reason for these low economic gains.

Amadeus strongly believes in the potential of the Pride Café to become a successful commercial venture in the days to come, alleviating social exclusion and ensuring equality of employment conditions. Pride Café is thus an innovative initiative to create a platform that aims to garner visibility and help these members with the opportunity to overcome key obstacles they confront on a day-to-day basis.

Furthermore, every member received training in English, computers, financial literacy, mental wellbeing, and the hospitality skills needed to operate and own a mobile kitchen vehicle. With a motive to make a real difference, the initiative has an equal pay policy for all employees, including those serving in the kitchen, truck, cleaning, cooking and service roles, as a first and promising step towards an inclusive future.

While LGBTQIA+ community members experience discrimination and human rights abuses at all stages of the educational and employment process, the Pride Café is an initiative to provide an egalitarian and stigma free working environment.

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