I know how to differentiate between excellence and perfection
Excellence, i can reach for
Perfection is gods business

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You are entering a Special KFC, Managed by Specially Abled People

Its Saturday today and as usual I was lazy to get up early in the morning to cook something (Seriously, I do cook my own food!) for myself. Woke up around 7 in the morning, watched a movie on my laptop (Well, actually two movies named Kungfu Panda and Alice in Wonderland). Now two movies after 7 in the morning makes the time 1100 hours. There were some “To Do” things for the weekend. One of them was getting my car washed. Other things would be to feed my vehicle with all the petrol it needs for the next week, usual grocery shopping for my kitchen etc.
So to club all this together, I decided to go to a shopping mall called "Total" at a nearby place called "Murugeshpalya". I had once seen a car being washed there with shampoo. Even though I don’t like washing my vehicle myself, I do like it to be clean and shiny. The plan was to have my breakfast in a KFC there and shop for the required groceries by the time my car gets washed.

I reached this place at around 1200 hours and went into this KFC. There was a young lady standing at the door who, on seeing me, opened it with a smile. The shop was spec clean and was almost empty. There was soft music playing in there which added to its ambience. The best thing about the place was, there was hardly any noise. It was all very silent in there. This silence is something hard to find in a city like Bangalore, especially in shopping malls. I was still looking around and taking in the ambience when another lovely looking lady gave me a wonderful smile from behind the counter. Her smile however was not followed by the usual dialogue that you get to hear in the restaurant. (Hai Sir, Welcome to KFC how may I help you?). I went to her and placed my usual order of a “Chicken Zinger Meal”. On doing this she smiled again and pushed a menu card to me. I returned the smile and said that I don’t need the menu card as this is something that I always have from the restaurant. Still smiling, she again pushed the menu card towards me, but at the same time, pointed to a badge she was wearing. The badge read “Please point your order”. Still feeling a bit strange about the entire scene, I found (with a bit of difficulty) “Chicken Zinger Meal” on the menu card and pointed the same to her. She punched the order in and then pointed to the display showing the amount that I should pay for the same. I paid the required amount. By this time I realized that something was really strange about the way things are done here.

No body was talking. Everyone behind the counter was pointing to each other and talking in sign languages. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that all these people were deaf and dumb. She had my order ready in no time and passed the tray to me with the same wonderful smile on her face.

I really cannot explain how I felt then.
If anyone thought that this emotion was sadness, then you are wrong. It was not sadness. It was a mixture of two emotions.
Gratitude and Admiration.

Admiration for every employee in this shop who unlike most of the differently abled people chose to work and earn their money. They had a choice, either to stay miserable and keep complaining about the fortunes that they don’t have, or to stand up and find a way to earn their own lively hood with the abilities that they did have. In the process, they also earn a lot of respect from every single person who comes to this restaurant. Admiration to the owners of KFC who took such a big decision of employing these specially abled people in their shop in a posh locality and in a mall where they may be paying out a huge rent for the space they occupy. A lot of us say a lot of things about social welfare. But most of us, which includes me, do nothing but talk. The KFC management leads us by example. They may have lesser number of customers because of this decision that they have taken, but by doing so, they have shown that they are socially responsible. They have shown one more way of doing social work. By employing a differently abled person they are giving him/her a chance to live in this world with pride.

The other emotion which I felt was Gratitude. Gratitude for the simple reason that I have been blessed to be able to see all the different colours, listen to music and express my feelings when I am sad by speaking. It also showed me that the problems that we face in our life, are so small when compared to the ones that these people face.
We are blessed. We choose to whine about things we don’t have instead of being thankful about the things we have. It’s true, we should always try to achieve more, but in the process of trying if we fail, we should be happy of what we have achieved in the process called trying rather than being sad about what we didn’t achieve.
After having my food, when I walked back to the door the same lady opened the door with the same smile on her face.

These people are called as differently/specially abled. They indeed are. They may not be able to hear, speak or see like we all do, but they have a courage and will power to prove that they are not behind anyone. This courage is something that people like me can only dream to have.

On the way out I found a small A4 sized board near the entrance. No one will see this board unless otherwise the person is really looking for it.

This board read:
You are entering a Special KFC, Managed by Specially Abled People.

What should be noted here is that unlike most of the other business establishments would do, KFC chose not to publicize this good work that they are doing.
Great work guys.

PS: I will try to get some pictures of the place on my next visit.

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