We recently shifted our office space and the new one is a really cool one. We all like it better than the previous one, despite the fact that both are in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
So, I had observed this transgender woman visiting us and asking for money since we had shifted here. Now, while this person was having a little tiff with our team over the money that we were offering them, I found most of us mocking the entire situation. It is so unfortunate, isn’t it? I don’t think there was any uneducated person there at that point in time. Strange right? Mondays are week off for us and I heard some of us telling them to come on Monday since the boss is not in the office. I don’t think either of this was true. In India, the only source of income for this community is begging and we as a society are the only ones who are responsible for this. They are not allowed to study or work, although we are very good at debating about them working and stuff but the reality is that no one is ready to give them work. The good news is that recently a school has been started in Kerala for transgender people.
Now, after this person left our office, my colleague said something which just shook the hell out of me. I was really calm when the entire mocking and everything was going on but then this lady went out of her way and said something which disturbed me badly. “People like her hamper the growth and development of our country.” Woooooeoeeeeeeee!!! Trans genders hamper India’s growth by begging when they cannot study or work. Wow!
When I asked her what she knows about trans people, all she could say is that they beg at traffic signals or in trains and started complaining about their “bad behavior.” Although this is the harsh reality for trans in India, but do we realize who is at fault? Is it the trans or our government or we as a society? Being disowned from their own families, ill-treated by the society, no access to education, no work permits, what do you expect boss? Imagine yourself in their place and try to analyze what would you do to survive? Amidst all the adversities, there are so many transgender people who make their way to the mainstream.
The ignorance and ill-treatment to the transgender community needs to be stopped immediately and this can be done by spreading awareness. Post-independence, while most of us lived a life of dignity, this community was still mistreated and harassed. Although the Transgender Rights Bill was passed in the year 2014, I would say this has been really slow. India’s first transgender principal, Manabi Bandyopadhyay was forced to resign from her job since most of her colleagues were non-supportive. Amidst all the bad news, we still had a lot of fighters who achieved a lot in life despite all the struggle. While the struggle is on, we need to spread more awareness about this as I feel society plays a more vital role for trans genders than the government.
Mahatma Gandhi very appropriately quoted on the struggle of trans people “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you. Then they fight you and then you win.”