Kohima: Delhi-based Naga restaurateur Karen Yepthomi was awarded the 13th National Women Excellence Award, 2020 during a ceremony organised by the Indo-European Chamber of Small & Medium Enterprises (IECSME) in Delhi on Wednesday.
Yepthomi’s Dzukou Tribal Kitchen in Delhi has been grabbing the attention of Northeastern people living in Delhi, among others, for her Naga cuisine and the elegant look of her restaurant. Yepthomi has another eatery by the same name — Dzukou Tribal Kitchen — in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Speaking with EastMojo in a telephonic conversation, Yepthomi said, “This year has been a difficult time for everyone. The award has come in as a surprise for me.”
“Receiving the award on the occasion of the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women made it even more meaningful for me,” she added.
Sharing the United Nation’s vision to eliminate violence against women by 2030, she said that one must be able to stand up for women “who do not get what they deserve and are abused”.
As a woman, she said that when the need to raise her voice arises, she is not hesitant. “Irrespective of whichever platform we are at, when required, we should be able to can be done in whats my capacity. There are lots of things that I don’t openly do.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that although business in the hospitality sector is “bleeding”, she has been going with the flow of things positively. “Things will be different in a few months. And I love what I do,” she optimistically said.
She also shared her message saying that one should “never give up” in anything they do. “I am so proud that many Nagas are doing so well. During this pandemic, it has been difficult for everyone. You should never give up even if you are convinced that it is all over,” she added.
In September last year, a video uploaded by Yepthomi went viral on social when few female members of the ‘Special Police Unit for North East Region (SPUNER)’ of Delhi Police, who visited the Dzukou tribal kitchen, urged the people of Northeast to seek their help in times of distress besides advocating safety of women in the Delhi.