The cafes are functional in five districts at present
The Kudumbashree mission will expand its Pink Cafe brand to all districts by March.
The Pink Cafes are functional in five districts at present—Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Idukki, and Kozhikode.
The cafes are run by Kudumbashree’s catering groups. The crisis that the catering groups found themselves in following the COVID-19 pandemic led to the setting up of the first Pink Cafe in Thiruvananthapuram last year.
The Kudumbashree food fetes that were a main source of livelihood for the catering groups could not be held in the wake of the pandemic.
In order to provide the catering group women a source of income, the mission came up with the idea of launching the Pink Cafes. Each of the cafes is entrusted to a catering group. The catering units are also provided training before launching the cafes.
The first Pink Cafe, with stress on steam-cooked food, came up at East Fort here in a condemned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus that was refurbished. Another came up at the Thampanoor bus terminal. The buses were made suitable for the cafes by the KSRTC and then renovated by the catering unit. Besides a refundable deposit of ₹1 lakh for each bus, a monthly rent of ₹20,000 is given to the KSRTC.
In Kottayam, the Pink Cafe is not a bus, but rather a kiosk inside the Kottayam medical college campus. In Idukki, instead of an actual bus, the kiosk at Pallivasal is made to resemble a bus. Another cafe, on a KSRTC bus, is coming up at Munnar.
The cafe in Kozhikode, again a kiosk, is located in Kayanna panchayat. The latest cafe began functioning at Kollam on a KSRTC bus attached to the city bus stand depot garage.
As the cafes have been registering good sales, the mission intends to start at least one in every district. A proposal to open more cafes in districts where there is demand for them and space available has also been mooted.
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