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 every day. Of course its not just because being a 23 year old, I was searching myself, but this was something deeper. You know how did this happen?
Let me tell you this through a very short story… so while I was walking on the road that day.. I saw and heard all that I just said. This grabbed my attention and went deeper into this woman looking like man’s world. This is when I came across the term “transgender” and learnt about their 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! Did you know the last fact?
Probably we have always seen them begging, and someone becomes a beggar either because you are compelled to be one, or because you do not have any other mode to earn and feed yourself. But haven’t we heard enough stories by now, how begging has become a business where the beggars we see on red lights are the employees of an unregistered organization, or I may say, a gang. If it is somebody like you or me, we would sympathize and might offer something to eat, or would think how difficult their life is, why aren’t they earning?
Well! Let me ask you, would you allow a transgender in your house/office/company for anything as simple as cleaning a car or as important as a receptionist or a cook? The answer to this question has generally been NO!
Therefore, they beg, because we don’t allow them inside our houses/offices and if possible public places too. We have left them with no option and hence, begging is their job. To your surprise, their job is more organized and structured 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. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself surviving in this world without an identity. That’s exactly where they are!
Now, I 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 red lights begging, we aspire to help them build their own capacities 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.
Imagine a world, where there are no boundaries, no physical boundaries, no mental boundaries. Every human on this earth gets to live a peaceful and happy life. Everyone gets to earn and feed themselves well. If you and I have the right and opportunities to be entrepreneurs, why not these people, why not the “Didi’s” who have seen a lot of struggles in their life, and still they possess so much of positivity in their hearts for all us. Remember, all they give us on these red lights are blessings!
I am sure, a lot of you would want to stand with me for this vision, and help them build their dreams and sustain them. I am sure you have this craving in you for the peaceful world, that we are trying to build.
I believe that we can together make a significant difference to the lives of the transgender by engaging them with meaningful livelihood and bring a sustainable change in their lives. To accomplish this, we at PAHAL are going to train transgender in various livelihood activities and will connect them to sustainable modes and their dreams, so that they can move ahead of begging and sex work. We would need your support for this vision and to help achieve their dreams.
I am banking on you, for this project, because I believe humanity exists and exists in huge forms. I am sure, your support will come through various means and this donation of money is just a small step towards it. Your blessings will help us achieve it!
Donate, till you believe you have achieved the world that you would want to see.