New Delhi hosted its first-ever National Transgender Awards today (December 15), with an aim to build a more inclusive society where transgenders find equal opportunities and not discriminated against. The awards which held as part of a day-long conclave witnessed leading voices from the transgender community like Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Transgender Rights & Activist, Dr Ashma Begum, Chairperson of World Women Organization along with officials from the Union Ministry of Social Justice. This year, the awards had four main categories – Lifetime Achievement Award, Organisation Awards, Path Breakers and Vidhya Award, where awardees from their respective field of work were awarded by the jury members. Here is the list of winners from each of the category:
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Ashok Rao Kavi Journalist & LGBT Rights Activist
- Anand Grover, Lawyer & Legal Activist For Homosexuality and HIV
- Dr. Ramdas Athawale, Hon’ble Minister of Social Justice, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
- Manish Jain, Executive Director, Kineer Services
- Jaswinder Narang, CEO, Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation
- Usha Kakade, President, Gravittus Foundation
- Keshav Suri, Founder, Keshav Suri Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award for Organizational Contributions
Path Breakers Award
- Sathyasri Sharmila, India’s First Transgender Lawyer
- Meera Parida, Transgender Activist
- Sadhana Mishra, Transgender Activist
Simran Shaikh, Director, Trans Health
- Aryan Pasha, Member, National Council for Transgender Persons, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment & India’s First Transgender Bodybuilder
- Abina Aher, Transgender Activist
- Zainab Patel, Director Inclusion and Diversity, KPMG,
Member of National Council for Transgender Persons
- Ranjita Sinha, Founder Member of India First Transgender Network of Bengal
- Shivansh Thakur, Member, Gokhale Road Bandhan Organisation; Board Member, ATHB organisation
- Salma Khan, Member Judge, Lok Adalat Panel; Vice President – Maharashtra Transgender Welfare Board; President, Kinnar Maa Trust
- Pushpa Maai, Transgender Rights Activist
- Dr Anmol Singh Rawat, Public Health Specialist
- Rudrani Chhetri, Founder Mitr Trust, Founder of India’s First Transgender Model Agency
- Abhina Aher, Transgender Activist
- Payal Pasha, Parenting A Trans Child
The aim is for this to become an annual event which can provide a platform to all stakeholders be it from the community, government, civil society or corporate world to participate and engage on issues faced by the community and constructive ways to mitigate the challenges.
Talking about the agenda of the conclave, Dr. Virender Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment said,
This is the first time we have organised something like this. This is the beginning of creating a society where everyone is equal. We wanted to show the work of transgenders to everyone. Their life is difficult as they face a lot of challenges. The motive of these awards is to basically motivate each and everyone in the transgender community to continue with their good deeds thereby empowering them.
Dr Ashma Begum, who has been a distinguished sportswoman at international and national levels and is now the Chairman of World Women Organization said,
These awards will help empower transgenders. Sometime we human ignore transgenders, which is not good. They are also are great human beings – they also deserve equal opportunities. To give them respect and dignity, we created these awards.
Talking about the act and rights related to transgender community, Ravi Pani, Advocate & Finance Counsellor at the event said,
The society needs to learn how important it is that no one is left behind in the development process.
He discussed about the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and highlighted some loopholes. He said that the Act does not talk about the legal rights of inheritance of the transgenders and is also on the choice of religion for the people belonging to the transgender community. He added that the Act has failed to include matters of importance for the sustenance of transgender people like education and health.
Hitha, Singer, Song Writer, Teen Activist from California who was at the awards said that she is grateful for being invited at such an event and hopes this will create new avenues for everyone involved.
Shibani Kashyap, Indian singer congratulated the organisers and said, “Heartiest congratulation to the organisation for the wonderful work they are doing. Here’s hoping this will create equal opportunities for everyone.”