This is a rework of a much earlier blog from India that not many people saw. It was one of my favorites. Today is the first of two posts in response to questions I have had about what is available in India to help the many less fortunate people. Soon, there will be a post about a unique program for the sight impaired.
It started maybe six weeks into our time in India…. we started missing the variety of the food we enjoyed in America. We began a hunt. Some of the students found Dominoes, while 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 One Mall! The mall makes you think you are in America except for its size. There are 4 stories plus a basement where we discovered Hyper City. It became our large box store of choice in India. It was well stock with our essentials, such as all the peanut butter we could ever want and all the toilet paper we could ever need!
We decided to try KFC several weeks later. We were greeted warmly by the doorman! Yes, a doorman at KFC! (He is seen in the photo.) As we approached the counter, we saw the sign . All the order takers were hearing and speech impaired. It was startling in the uniqueness of the situation, but the process ran quite smoothly. The customer points on a card to the menu item of her choice while the cashier rings up the order, hands you a receipt and gives you a radiant smile with his hand over his heart. We had never had an experience quite like this before. It was very moving. We returned several more times and were greeted each time as if we were remembered. Well, come to think of it, I guess the American auntie and uncle were hard to forget.
I am thinking, if you are still reading, that you are asking, “Why is she telling us about eating at KFC?” Good question. Truthfully, I have never been much of a fan in America 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. Could be true, but for several weeks, I told everybody who would listen about the Alpha One Mall KFC! I talked to a graduate student at Cept and she told me that in Broda, the city where she is from, there is an identical workforce in its KFC. She said that it was stated as the Indian business plan policy to give jobs, meaningful work, to these hearing and speech impaired Indians. Can this be true…..a capitalist company with a conscience and a desire to help “the least among us?”
I immediately emailed my 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 any meat is strictly forbidden. From the internet, I learned there were many protests in 2011 to prevent KFC restaurants from opening in Ahmedabad, but the demonstrations were not successful. Granted this hiring policy may have been in response to the protests and an attempt to be responsive to the them. Whatever the reason, I think it is commendable.
What is the point of this post? I would like to encourage support of KFC and their work to be a responsible representative of capitalism. My hope is this will become the policy in the US, too. These stories are not often told in the media so I am doing it. 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, and wave to me in the corner!
Nameste…….T I I I