ICCHAPURON: Covid-19 lockdown leaves transgender people at heightened risk of property because they exist on the margins of society. Considering all the above situations, Group of 6 transgender individuals at Dinajpur came together and initiated, ICCHAPURON - Community based kitchen.
Dinajpur Notun Aalo Society is community-based organisation working for health and rights of Transgender/Hijra community member. Because of CORONA hit, most of the transgender individuals lost their savings without any alternative source of Income. In initial phase, Orgnaisation conducted one need-based survey to understand current needs of community members. The findings reaffirmed that financial support, and Ration supports are the top priority, but there was also a massive demand for availability and access to alternative income source. Aligning with the goals of Dinajpur Notun Aalo Society, Solidarity Fund and the specific needs highlighted by the Transgender Individual in the survey Group of 6 transgender individuals at Dinajpur came together and initiated, ICCHAPURON - Community based kitchen which is supported by Dinajpur Notun Aalo Society and The Humsafar Trust. The ICCHAPURIN Program is focuses on very new concept of social entrepreneurs in Setting up Community based kitchen by transgender individuals.
Community to support: Transgender individuals from the age bracket of 18 to 49 years living in and around Dinajpur district in India who are engaged in sex work. The project will also focus on following paraments;
1. Rural/Urban: Urban & Semi Urban
2. Socio-economic group: Lower middle class to living below poverty line
3. Occupational group: Sex workers
4. Identity: Transgender
The overall objectives of the community kitchen are as follows:
1. Source of Income for Trans community members, and
2. Providing lifesaving food to needy individuals.
The initiative started in the month of June 2020 and provided food to more than 5000 individuals at very reasonable rates and currently more than 10 transgenders are working in this kitchen. One of the transgender houses is used for ICCHAPURON Kitchen and other group members helped with other essentials and materials required in order to start with Kitchen.
This initiative was initially supported by The Humsafar Trust in order to start the kitchen and providing free cooked food to trans community members. Gradually kitchen started providing food at very cheap rate to general people also and now daily more than 100 food parcels are being ordered from ICCHAPURON kitchen.
Benefits of ICHHAPURON:
There are many benefits to Community Kitchens including that they:
1. Increase access to healthy meals
2. Help the transgender community to develop life skills such as budgeting, meal planning, cooking and social skills
3. Support Transgender community members to develop alternative income source.
4. Developing Transgender entrepreneur
5. Changing society mindset towards transgender community members.