Kathmandu, December 11, 2017: She defines herself as a social science student and a community server. Neha Banu Shah is working to bring a change and the change she believes in has optimistic hopes for the future with a savor of risk. Yet she is delving beyond the latitude to stand against the most controversial issue since time immemorial – ‘GENDER EQUALITY’ through her upcoming project. In Nepal, gender equality is always supposed to be equality for female and many might surmise Neha is doing the similar in her project. But for her definition, gender equality has always been about all the gender type and by all the gender type she means men, women and the LGBTQI society.
Neha is working along with her sister for her upcoming social venture and the ‘Shah Sisters’ are all set up to be the best duo who could bring a change. In the coming month of January to mid-February, the Shah Sisters will hold the legacy of their own cafe, an eatery named ‘The WoMen.Co’
THE BEGINNING OF A JOURNEY
From being involved with the group of active youths in ‘YUWA’ to working with the LGBTQI individuals of the ‘Blue Diamond Society Nepal’, she comprehended the society from a very different angle. Her explanation of working with the ‘Blue Diamond Society Nepal’ cut off her fears about the LGBTQI’s. Instead, she realized being homophobic was her fear at first but the fear was an inch in front of the hesitation, apprehension and doubts the LGBTQI’s showcased as she was working with them. After working for six years with social organizations, she realized she was encouraged to a new point of doing something. Neha believed she could start a social venture to contribute for gender equality.
Based at Pulchowk (Lalitpur), the eatery the Shah sisters intend to open the coming month is striding its steps for completion. Neha believes her eatery to invite people to the most rousing environment. The motto of their eatery is: ‘Promoting Gender Equality, Enhancing the Eatery’. People who are intended to be working in the cafe are of all genders. She primarily wants people to set aside their views about not eating a food an LGBTQI serves. This thought she puts forward challenges the orthodox the society sets.
The walls of her cafe are all set to welcome visitors with inspirational and positive thoughts written in portraits and charts, rousing positive vibes. Even a positive thought in mind for the time they spend in the cafe would be conducive to both the cafe and the visitors. This clearly delineates the motive they have. Positive vibes are going to adorn the milieu of their cafe and furthermore, the idea of a room full of books in the cafe will serve to be its main attraction. Any book lover will certainly visit their cafe and enjoy the exquisite food the cafe has to serve.
“We would like to serve beyond mo:mos and chowmeins . We intend to serve food that is exquisite and of a new flavor,” Neha asserted while conversing.
The food the cafe intends to serve to seem to be affordable as well as soothing. The idea of going beyond the typical restaurant’s items is what makes their menu ‘particular’.
She says the logo of the cafe is what intrigues people the most. The logo symbolizes the idea of gender equality. Based on the motto “Promoting Gender Equality, Enhancing the eatery” the logo represents the straight and LGBTQI community people.
The logo comprises of the two major components i.e the iconic representation and the colors. The icon lips and mustache represents the gender equality whereby the colors (seven colors) represent the LGBTQI notion. Regarding the .co, it means “gender-neutral pronoun”
She knows that there is a risk in what she wills to do. The upshot is yet to be discovered; however, she tries to be optimistic with the results she is going to gain through the project.
Her story is a passionate dream of bringing a change through an idea whose sole purpose and the thread is connected to the societal changes.
Kudos to The Shah sisters for inspiring the youths to delve beyond the latitude of their minds to bring out new changes.
By: Kabita Sen