One fine day!
So this was probably 23rd year of my life, when I suddenly saw a man wearing a saree and clapping in a completely unsophisticated way, one hand horizontally placed and the other vertically and you hear a different sound. Oh wow! She or he, spoke so well… “ae chikne paisa de baba” and the rude uncle in his car replied “chal chal jaa”. This made me stop for another moment and think who is more uncivilized?Well! Since then these claps, words like “chikne” has become the food for my ears. Wait! I just realized I can’t imagine myself without these words in my ears everyday. You know how did this happen? Let me tell you this through a very short story… so while I was walking on the road during my 23rd year.. I saw and heard all that I just said. This grabbed my attention and went deeper into this woman looking like man. This is when I came across the term “transgender” and learnt about there lives. Yes they eat the same food as we do! Yes they wear what we wear! Yes they have the same human emotions as we have! Yes they live exactly the way we do! Perhaps they don’t use Gucci perfume, neither do they carry a Charles and keith bag, but they do drink what you drink and guess what! They earn as we do! They beg, because we don’t allow them inside our houses/offices and if possible public places too. However, begging is their job. To your surprise, they are more organized then either of us. They earn and give all their money to their guru’s. All that they get is 40% of the share. Needless to mention, they do have a family. These facts pushed me to question myself, why am I putting them in a different light. All they need is an identity. We have sweared to get them this identity through my project “Astitva – A quest for identity”. This is for us to help them get their own identity. To start with, we helped them get their ID cards. Further, to build on their lives and help them sustain and probably more for us, to not to get scared or feel awkward to see them on redlights begging, we aspire to help them build their own capacity and hone their skills. As they say “each human is unique and has his/her own strengths and weaknesses”, how can we negate them and their capabilities. We believe that we can make a significant difference to the lives of the transgender by engaging them with meaningful livelihood. This program is going to train transgender in various livelihood activities and will connect them to livelihood, so that they can leave their job of beggary and sex work