It started maybe six weeks into our time in India….missing American food. Some guys found Dominoes, others visited McDonald’s for paneer cheese sandwiches which weren’t too satisfying, but the French fries were great, and someone saw a KFC in Alpha Mall! The mall makes you think you are in America except that it is 4 stories plus a basement where Hyper City is located with all the peanut butter you could ever want and all the toilet paper you could ever need!
We decided to try KFC several weeks ago. We were greeted warmly by the doorman! Yes, a doorman at KFC! (He is seen in the photo.) As we approached the counter, we sensed a difference. All the order takers were deaf and couldn’t speak. (I don’t know if dumb is still used, but I prefer not to use it.) It really worked quite smoothly. The customer points to the menu item of her choice, the cashier rings up the order, hands you a receipt and gives you a radiant smile. We had never had an experience quite like this before. Last night David and I went again as he is giving his stomach a rest from the India spices. We were greeted as if we were remembered and enjoyed some good old American fried chicken.
I am thinking you are asking, “Why is she telling us about eating at KFC?” Good question. Truthfully, I have never been a fan except for the biscuits, and they are not served in India. But now I am a cheerleader for the company. And it is because of the special order takers. Well, you might be thinking that this is one of many restaurants and maybe this is not the policy in all the KFC’s. Well, for several weeks, I told everybody who would listen about the Alpha Mall KFC! I talked to a graduate student at Cept and she told me that the city where she is from has an identical workforce. She said that it was stated as the Indian business plan policy to give jobs, meaningful work, to these hearing and speaking impaired men! Can this be true…..a capitalist organization with a conscience and a desire to help “the least among us?”
I immediately emailed my retirement financial adviser to ask if KFC is otherwise a strong company and compatible with my needs, then I would like to support their work in India. As you know, India’s main religion is Hinduism and eating of any meat is strictly forbidden. From the internet I learned there were many protests in 2011 to prevent KFC restaurants from opening, but the demonstrations were not successful. Granted this hiring policy may have been in response to the protests and an attempt to be responsible. Whatever the reason, I think it is commendable. Yesterday, when we were there, the restaurant was very busy with lots of kids meeting there after school David and I were the only “white people” (as we are called by the RPI students) there to eat at that time.
Well, what is the point of this post? I would like to encourage support of KFC and their work to be a responsible example of capitalism. My hope is this will be the policy in the US, too. These stories are not often told in the media. The parent company is YUM and is traded on the NY Stock Exchange, if you feel lead to buy their stock. Also, give the cook in our homes a break and stop by to get some chicken. Oh yes, eat a biscuit with drippy honey on it for me!
Nameste…….T I I
I added a new photo to the Taj Mahal post….. dinner on a rooftop in Agora with a great view.