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Me and U cafe: First female run cafe in Kashmir

Mehvish Zargar was just six when she lost her father to cancer in 1999. Youngest of the three siblings, she was the most pampered child of her father.

The following years brought many troubles and hardships for the family due to financial constraints. Her mother had to do menial jobs to feed the family and support their education. Most of the relatives refused to help them and instead they made things difficult for the family.

Mehvish (25) says some people would tease them and show them down rather than helping. Her mother suffered physically and mentally but she stood for the children and ensured good education for them.

"My mother would cry in pain when she was ill but she would not get treatment because of lack of money," Mehvish says.

"Now, when we are independent and successful those who would show us down are appreciating us," she adds

Some years ago Mehvish's brother, who is an engineer, started working. He motivated Mehvish, a law graduate, to continue her studies and be independent in life. It encouraged her to start the venture 'Me and U Café' at Bemina area of Srinagar which became first café run by a female in the troubled region.

After initial hardships, the business is kicking as customers especially young are making beeline at the café to taste the exclusive cuisine. Mehvish is running the café in partnership with a family friend, Yasir Altaf. He has decided to let Mehvish handle maximum responsibilities of the café seeing her hard work and dedication.

The café has four employees including two cooks and two helpers. It offers a range of cuisine from Chinese to continental.

Mehvish is planning to start a chain of restaurants in J&K with this name to help unemployed youth to earn livelihood.


Manzoor ul Hassan

Manzoor ul Hassan

Multimedia journalist and writer based in Jammu and Kashmir. His writings on healthcare, politics and lifestyle were published in J&K's leading newspapers including Rising Kashmir, Greater Kashmir, and Kashmir Reader. He is also contributing to ARD (German TV) as a freelance producer since 2013. Previously, he has worked with National and Foreign Broadcast like ORF Austria, BBC, and NDTV.


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