Pakistan’s first deaf-staffed food truck ‘Abey Khao’ based in Islamabad, empowers differently-abled individuals.
The ‘Abey Khao’ food truck in bright yellow is parked on Millennium Universal College’s campus in Islamabad, where hungry students form lines to order food. Once they reach their turn, they are seen ordering their food with the help of sign language to communicate with the staff. On the menu are hot meat sandwiches and french fries.
Abey Khao translates to “Eat Guys,” which provides an economic opportunity for the differently-abled staff and results from a special family’s efforts with both parents and their two sons who are either totally or partially deaf, but their daughter Ayesha Raza can hear.
Ayesha is the one who introduced the idea of the food truck to her family, so her brothers have a chance to thrive in their lives. Moreover, the project in itself speaks volumes and reflects the future they see for differently-abled people.
She told a publishing site that “The majority of the deaf youth is unemployed in Pakistan, and they face issues like language barriers, inequality, and discrimination. At Abey Khao, customers embrace the deaf culture and place their orders in sign language.”
Ayesha’s brother, Sheikh Faizan, communicated in sign language that “We should create our path through entrepreneurship, no matter how small it is, because we value our dignity as independent living beings more than anything else.”
A student, Misal Shahzad, said, “Normally, whenever we meet anyone who is deaf, we don’t know how to communicate with them. They have placed a cue card here in front of their van, which is very helpful for everyone when we want to place an order.”
The truck also features an essential guide for students who wish to order food from them. These indicate what signs can be used to communicate the order to the staff. The project is helping the differently-abled to be employed and helping the community at large.
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