Mak­ing a song and trans

Mem­bers of the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity have planned a 5-minute flash mob to raise aware­ness about in­clu­sive­ness

Mid Day - - CITY - APARNA SHUKLA [email protected]

THE trans­gen­der com­mu­nity wants to spread the mes­sage of in­clu­siv­ity, and what bet­ter way to do that than spon­ta­neously burst­ing into song and dance? Af­ter all, who doesn’t love a flash mob? To that end, some­time next month, the coun­try’s firstever trans­gen­der flash mob will per­form a five-minute dance rou­tine to raise aware­ness about the need for the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity’s ‘in­clu­sion’ into the main­stream.

“Though the Supreme Court has passed a judg­ment in our favour, so­ci­ety has still not ac­cepted us. Peo­ple think we have dropped from the sky and are hes­i­tant in ac­cept­ing us com­pletely. When they see us, they see ‘hi­jras’, not a hu­man be­ing ca­pa­ble of love. Flash mobs are usu­ally planned by col­lege stu­dents, so our hope is that when we par­take in it, it might strike a chord,” said Urmi Jad­hav, who works as a re­search as­sis­tant at the Hum­sa­far Trust and is part of the fa­mous Danc­ing Queen group.

On­line cru­sade

How­ever, worry not if you are not there to wit­ness the mob live in ac­tion. The founders of YouTube chan­nel Foxbula will up­load the video on their por­tal and pro­ceeds from the same will be given to the Hum­sa­far Trust.

“There are about 20,000 trans­gen­ders in the city, of which around 80 per cent are in­volved in sex work and around 20 per cent have HIV. Why is this hap­pen­ing? It’s be­cause peo­ple are un­aware. There is an ur­gent need to be more wel­com­ing and in­clu­sive of the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity,” said Sahil Chat­wani, a pro­ducer from Foxbula.

Ex­plain­ing the dis­crim­i­na­tion faced by the com­mu­nity, Jad­hav said, “Though peo­ple of­fer jobs, we are un­able to take them. Even Mum­bai Univer­sity said it would be open to giv­ing us ad­mis­sions, but they too need doc­u­ments that we don’t have. Where ex­actly do we go?”

Through the project, the com­mu­nity hopes to raise funds for var­i­ous ini­tia­tives that Hum­sa­far Trust sup­ports. “There is a travel agency that helps trans­gen­ders learn driv­ing, help­ing them merge into the main­stream. We also have peo­ple suf­fer­ing from HIV un­der the project ‘San­jee­vani’. The pro­ceeds will be used to sup­port them,” said Koninika Roy, of the Hum­sa­far Trust.

Pub­lic re­sponse

Jay Vyas, a South Mum­bai res­i­dent and stu­dent of the Nir­mala Nike­tan Col­lege is, how­ever, skep­ti­cal of what the com­mu­nity might achieve. “South Mum­bai will at­tract a lot of peo­ple, sure, but that’s that. If you ask peo­ple, they say ‘Yes, very nice, they should also get rights,’ but don’t ex­pect changed hearts. You ask the rick­shaw wala, he will also say the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect thing for TV and pa­pers, but it is how they re­act when they are alone with a trans­gen­der that re­veals the real story,” he says.

Arushi Dutt, res­i­dent of Vile Parle, and a me­dia pro­fes­sional added, “It would be in­ter­est­ing, but it also depends on which part of Mum­bai they are do­ing it in. In South Mum­bai, peo­ple will be open-minded, but I don’t know if they will be will­ing to roll down the glasses of their ex­pen­sive SUVs. On the other hand, I feel peo­ple in the sub­urbs will be more warm and re­cep­tive.”

The pro­ceeds from the live and on­line col­lec­tion will ben­e­fit Hum­sa­far Trust

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.