Plan­ning to dine out? Do it in the com­pany of the hear­ing im­paired

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - P Srini­vasan p.srini­

Eat­ing out at this restau­rant in Jaipur is a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. With hear­ing im­paired peo­ple around to serve you, Vit­thal’s Kitchen on Sahkar Marg guar­an­tees you the seren­ity you look for at a restau­rant.

When you en­ter the restau­rant, a cou­ple of them greet you with a smile on their faces. Once you set­tle down, one of them gives you a spe­cially-de­signed menu card, which is self-ex­plana­tory. Once you de­cide the or­der, the waiter comes with an or­der book and pen and through sign ges­tures con­veys you to place the or­der men­tion­ing the code and quan­tity. By the time your food is be­ing read­ied, the waiter keeps you busy serv­ing chilled jal­jeera.

The hos­pi­tal­ity of these hear­ing im­paired em­ploy­ees com­pels you to spare some thoughts for them. Ask Ashish Vit­thal Sharma (33), the owner of Vit­thal’s Kitchen, what made him em­ploy the hear­ing im­paired at his restau­rant, he says: “Once walk­ing on roads, I saw three speech and hear­ing im­paired boys talk­ing to each other through sign lan­guage and I no­ticed that they are in their own world and not both­ered about oth­ers. Sim­i­larly, peo­ple around them too were busy in their own world and not both­ered about these youth. Then, I de­cided that I will do some­thing to con­nect these spe­cially-abled to the main­stream of the so­ci­ety.”

A law grad­u­ate, Sharma opened the ho­tel en­gag­ing five of them a month ago. Ini­tially, it was a prob­lem in­ter­act­ing with them, but now Sharma has learned the sign lan­guage from them. About how do cus­tomers re­act to their pres­ence, Sharma says a few leave say­ing ‘these peo­ple can­not take or­der and serve’, oth­ers, who give them op­por­tu­nity to serve, en­joy their hos­pi­tal­ity. “Many cus­tomers have re­vis­ited this place,” he adds.

Cit­ing an in­ci­dent, he tells, “Once a cou­ple came here. The wife tried to check whether the youth serv­ing them was re­ally hear­ing im­paired. On this, the hus­band rep­ri­manded her for her ac­tion. I re­ally felt good think­ing there are some sen­si­tive peo­ple too.”

Sharma said he plans to en­gage 100 such youths dur­ing the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year. “I will be em­ploy­ing a few in my restau­rant, which I am ex­pand­ing. Be­sides, I will re­quest my fam­ily and friends to em­ploy them at their work­place,” he adds.

Yashven­dra Jat (25), who works as a waiter at the restau­rant, through sign lan­guage, says, “It is re­ally good to work here and in­ter­act with nor­mal peo­ple. I feel happy when cus­tomers are sat­is­fied with our work.”


Hear­ing im­paired wait­ers serve at the eatery.

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