Trans, transform, transcend
CHENNAI: I found the woman in me when I was 8 years old, and acknowledged it when I was 15 years old,” says Malaika Desingh, board member, Snegithi organisation, North Chennai.
She continues, “I visited Sagodharan organisation (another phase of Snegithi organisation) when I was 15 and have been supporting the cause since. I started my career in hotel management and later became ‘Miss International Queen’ in 2011. But nothing gave me the contentment or glee of being a responsible social activist. I always wanted to do something beneficial to the trans community and through Snegithi, I’m giving colours and wings to my dreams”.
“I completed my physiotherapy course and was new to Chennai. I initially started working as a therapist but later had to quit due to abuse and ill-treatment. Sagodharan gave me a posting as a psychological counsellor and also supported me through hardships. Now, I work as a physiotherapist at Government Hospital. I’m forever grateful and I run back to my people whenever I feel stressed or depressed as my happiness lies in that organisation,” says Selvi, who benefitted from the organisation exuberantly.
“Snegithi has been functioning for more than a decade. At Snegithi, we give social entitlement to the trans community, conduct medical camps, and education sponsorship, and also provide self-employment assistance; more than 2,000 transgenders have benefited from this. A prominent example could be Prithika Yashini, who has become a Sub-inspector of Police. She was supported through Snegithi. During the lockdown, we provided food and shelter to the needy.” says Thanuja, project manager, Snegithi organisation.
“The main motto of Snegithi is to counsel the parents to accept their children as they are and to provide them a sense of confidence. Due to perplexity and less patience, trans people end up taking their life, but that’s not the case we want it to be. We strive hard to make them feel proud and through their willpower, they pick themselves up and shine,” adds Malaika.
On asking about the plans of the organisation, Malaika says, “We are in plans to build a transgender home. Through the Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board, we are also planning to get jobs for transgenders according to their qualification level and we also expect a 2% reservation, this might reduce the ill-treatment and abuse of transgenders”.