Sir Ratan Tata Institute

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Founded in 1928 by Lady Navajbai Tata, Sir Ratan Tata Institute has a cafe and a beautiful boutique for women and children and was started to provide livelihood opportunities to women with underprivileged backgrounds. 

Serving Parsi delicacies for over 90 years, Sir Ratan Tata Institute in Babulnath is more than just a cafe. It’s a place where you can shop cutwork sarees, kidswear, kurtis, tops, as well as home linen. Also, a space that provides employment to needy women not just from Mumbai but from different states and trains them and helps them ace cooking and stitching. It’s also a community centre for local people and conducts various workshops, seminars, parties, cooking demos, children’s classes, and various events, as well as pop-ups every now and then.

“There was a plague in Bombay in the late 1800s, and people were badly affected by it. Many women were poor and didn’t have a means of livelihood at that time. And that’s why Lady Navajbai Tata, wife of Sir Ratan Tata, son of Tata Group founder Jamshed Tata started this as an institute to support such women and give them employment. The ladies would cook and sell that food, and that has continued even today”, said Shernaz Buhariwala

140 people from underprivileged backgrounds from different parts of the country are currently working for RTI either in their cafes or in the boutique. “Most of them are women, but we do have men working, too. We had and still have many ladies who had come from various villages, lived here with their families, and learned cooking and stitching. This is generational because they even got married and settled here and passed their experience and learnings to others”, she further added

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