Transgenders in ECR go hungry
In the midst of the intense lockdown, Father Bosco who works with migrant and marginalized communities asked if I could help a group of 20 transgenders residing in Kovalam.
Soon, Arasi, the group head from Kovalam called me and told me they hadn't eaten a full meal in a whole week. Only she had a ration card. I understood transgenders had a separate id and only four of them had. She said grocery stores in Kovalam were open so I got her to reach one, and I planned their food parcel.
These are individual packs of :
3 kgs rice, Toovar dal, Tamarind, Garlic, Sugar, Tea, Sooji, Oil, Condiments, Biscuits, Soaps, and salt. The total cost was Rs.13,000. They wanted me to come so they could receive it from me. I explained that it was not possible. I discussed with the shopkeeper to issue tokens to individuals whose list and details I had sent. The grocery had been dispersed on April 30 to the beneficiaries.
I understand that Chennai is in the red zone for Covid and it's going to be a very long time before we regain normalcy. With the care and empathy, compassion from all my friends I was able to reach out to people I have never met or known. The only fact for sure is that Transgenders are hit badly because their mainstay is what they ‘collect’ from shops.
Goodness has no end so this story will continue thanks to all my benevolent friends.
Nishath can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org