Aditi Verma is 23 years old. Born with Down syndrome, she had to undergo a major surgery at the age of 2.5 years to mend a hole in her heart. But today, Aditi runs a cafe in Navi Mumbai's Bhoomi Mall.
From idling at home to becoming a self-reliant entrepreneur, Aditi has come a long way.
Here we share her inspiring story.
Aditi is the star of her cafe
From preparing orders, taking client calls to managing accounts, she runs the show at Aditi's Corner.
Aditi reportedly works eight hours every day. The cafe was gifted to her by her parents who wanted to see her financially independent and engaged in meaningful work.
Inaugurated on January 1, 2016, it started out as a small cafe selling tea/coffee, soup, maggi, egg preparations and sandwiches.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes developmental delays
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability, developmental delays and gives it patients a distinct facial appearance. Caused due to abnormal cell division, it also results in thyroid and heart problems. It can be managed but never cured.
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Aditi's Corner broke-even within three months of starting operations
The snack corner, which is in the same building as her father's transport and distribution office, now also serves homemade lunches, chocolates and cupcakes (a much-loved speciality).
Aditi's mother helps her in preparing the lunches. At the cafe, two staff members assist her with the cooking and the delivery.
Aditi broke-even within three months of starting operations. Today, she serves 75-80 meals a day.
Aditi learns new recipes from YouTube
Aditi loves cooking. Growing up, she'd learn from YouTube and surprise her family with new recipes.
She went to special schools in Jaipur and Pune before joining Swami Brahmanand Pratishthan in Belapur.
Since she was good in Mathematics, she soon began helping her father with data entries. But that, of course, didn't last long. Aditi had to do what she always wanted: cooking.
Aditi is India's poster girl for Down syndrome success stories
Aditi has shown the world what defeating Down syndrome looks like. Her success story has been widely covered in the media, motivating other families with special children. Last year, she was nominated as Maharashtra's entrepreneur-representative for the Self Advocates Forum of India (SAFI).