Begin typing your search...

With no govt help, NGOs come to rescue of transpersons

Daily wage labourers, as well as economically-poorer sections of society, are not the only groups struggling to sustain themselves during the 21-day nationwide shutdown. Several vulnerable communities such as the transgender persons in the city have also been facing hardship and strain over the last five days.

With no govt help, NGOs come to rescue of transpersons
Transpersons collecting aid for distribution at Chetpet on Tuesday


Lavanya came to Chennai from her hometown of Thirukottai one month ago for work. However, the transwoman was soon forced to stay at her friends’ house due to the shutdown, and now, she is facing issues in accessing essential goods.

“I either beg or go do sex work. With nobody out on the street, I cannot do both. I was earning enough money to eat for the day and so I have no savings. Getting food and water is very difficult for us,” said the 33-year-old.

For Kavya, who moved in with Lavanya and another transwoman last week, the situation caught her off-guard. “Whatever I earned through my work, I sent it to my father as he needed to undergo an operation. Now, with no money, a few transpersons decided to move in together as it would be easier. I am thankful that I have such good friends, but I also don’t want to be a burden. How much longer can I mooch off her,” asked the 28-year-old.

Rent is another problem faced by these women, who say that their landlords are expecting the payment within the next few days. On Sunday, the Home Ministry had announced that migrant labourers would not have to pay rent for one month. However, the transwomen rue that there was no mention of their plight in the statement.

“I also want to return home. I want to see my family, and take care of my mother, who is growing old. I fear for their safety due to this virus. My own situation aside, I want to help them,” said Lavanya. Kavya added that her parents, who stay in Tiruvanamalai, are sickly and thus she hopes to be able to help them.

An NGO, PHARM Foundation, run by Nila M is conducting a fundraiser to assist the transgender communities in Perumbakkam, Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. They hope to provide not only dry rations like rice and oil but also groceries and personal hygiene materials for transpeople.

“The issue we are running into is that many are afraid to step out and volunteer. People from our community are facing difficulty, and it is only with the help of the community can we help pull them out of that situation.

If transgender persons were more included in mainstream jobs, they might not be facing these issues.

That awareness must be brought about,” said Nila.

Visit to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Next Story