The Indian Coffee house finally hires women as staff after an extremely long wait of 61 years. The restaurant-chain is in existence since 1958 and only recently decided to offer work opportunities to women.
32-year-old Sheena and 24-year-old Sreekutty, two of the first 10 women employees at the Indian Coffee House, are appointed at the Thiruvanthapuram's MLA hostel complex.
Sheena was initially denied the job following its tradition of only hiring men. Sheena’s late husband was an employee at the restaurant chain. Therefore, after his death, she approached the Indian Coffee House for a job to sustain her and her family’s life.
Anil Kumar, one of the directors at the board, said that Sheena’s request for a job is what had them rethinking the idea of only hiring men. He said, "When Sheena first approached us for the job, we had to decline because we hadn't hired women. Later, industries secretary also happened to ask us about why we don't hire women. That's how we started moving in that direction. We are happy that revolutionary idea which began under the great communist leader AK Gopalan, and employs over 2,500 men, now includes women as employees too,"
However late, this opens up a stream of opportunities for women looking for a job.
Sheena is happy to have a job now. In an interview with NDTV, she said, "I was aware that women are not hired here. My husband died, he was a cook at Indian Coffee House. Times have changed, and I believed myself that I will be able to get a job here. There were many union leaders, authorities who supported my cause. I have a 10-year-old child to feed and my mother-in-law to take care of,"
The Kerala based restaurant chain's decision has been welcomed by its employees, officials and even its customers.