Mangaluru: Transgenders, who have always been kept out of the mainstream by their families and the general public, have started venturing into new areas to begin their lives afresh. In Udupi district, a group of transgenders who are natives of other districts, have set up a canteen for night-time food seekers. Three of them, Poorvi, Vaishnavi and Chandana, who used to seek alms on the streets of Udupi, have taken the decision to lead a self-reliant life with a canteen near the Udupi bus stand.
They run their canteen from 1 am to 7 am when travellers who find themselves lost in the city wander in search of food. The canteen has turned out to be a boon for the night travellers and those who work in the night shift who leave their workplaces at odd hours.
The canteen provides delicious snacks and tea to the customers. As a majority of hotels in the city are closed during night time, people have now started relishing the snacks at the canteen run by transgenders.
The trio said the response from the public has so far been encouraging and they get respect from the public. They are enjoying the newly found dignified life in the heart of the city.
The Udupi police had recently intensified night patrolling to detect the illicit activities of transgenders including sex work.
With a cloud of distrust looming over the transgender community, the three got down to the new venture in an attempt to remove the tag imposed on them by the public.
The first MBA degree holding transgender in the state Sameeksha Kunder has invested in the canteen and stood by her friends. The three are preparing the food temporarily from her house.
Ms Kunder said acceptance from the public is crucial for running the small business. However, they have started work with a positive energy, she said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.