transgender
Transgender performing during a programme at Silchar. Image credit - Northeast Now

Not every day one comes up and talks in the open about a ‘transgender’.

But for the first time in the southern part of Assam’s Silchar town, an NGO – Aswash – openly put up their core issues before the public at Goldighi Municipal Mall on Thursday evening.

Aswash in association with Nayva came up with a programme in the evening under the theme ‘Astitva – Ek Pehechan’ which mesmerized the audience present in Goldighi mall.

With a handful of transgender, draped in beautiful saris and young school children performing a musical play to highlight the plight of a transgender in our society said it all.

Payal Saha, a transgender, in her deliberation before the audience, said, “We are grateful to Aswash NGO for allowing us to speak before an august gathering.”

“For many years now, we have been ostracized for a behaviour and pattern that is beyond our reach,” said Saha.

“The government has now to a great extent given us some respect but that sort of respect we still find it hard to get from a civilized male or a female,” added Saha.

Later, speaking to Northeast Now, Payel Saha said, “We have a right to vote. We are eligible to have a PAN card or an Aadhaar card, but all these cannot still remove the stigma we have being transgender as we are looked down by most of the people.”

transgender
Transgender attending a programme at Silchar. Image credit – Northeast Now
Transgender attending a programme at Silchar. Image credit – Northeast Now

Payel Saha added, “If one among us boards a bus, a boy or a girl would get down from it.”

“Besides, if we are interested to learn something in a school or college, the other students won’t accept the fact to acknowledge us as a third gender. We just want a male or a female of the society to love us and accept us in the days to come,” Saha said further.

Arundhati Gupta, founder member and currently the general secretary of Aswash, told Northeast Now, “Our NGO began working against human trafficking five years ago.”

“Just two years back, I had the privilege of rescuing three transgender while travelling in a train. This led me to think more of their plight and the need to do some serious work to address their issues,” added Gupta.

Gupta further said, “When I stepped to work for their cause, initially, I had to face a lot of hardships, but you have seen today, how many have turned up here and are acknowledging the fact that we need to come out of all the age-old stigmas and accept them as a third gender or one among just like us.”

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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