The Assam Tribune

"Tritiyo Nivas! a ray of hope for transgende­r people in city

- MANASH PRATIM DUTTA

GUWAHATI, Sept 16: In Assam, the transgende­r people have always been remained socially alienated due to various reasons. Especially, during the lockdown, the transgende­rs have faced immense hardship in managing their livelihood.

In such a critical time as a ray of hope, a section of transgende­r people is preparing themselves to start a new life at %Tritiyo Nivas!, a shelter home cum skill developmen­t centre for the third gender people.

The shelter home cum skill developmen­t centre, located in the Hatigaon area of the city, is a joint initiative of the North East Voluntary Associatio­n of Rural Developmen­t and the All Assam Transgende­r Associatio­n. The centre is run under the aegis of the Social Welfare department.

It is the first such centre establishe­d in the State in January last year and is providing free food and shelter along with skill training to its inmates. But due to financial issue, the initiative remained almost inactive for one year. Later, with the formation of the Transgende­r Welfare Board by the Social Welfare department, the home has got a new lease of life.

Talking about the initiative, Niharika Bora, who works as a counsellor at the shelter home cum skill developmen­t centre, said, "At present, we have around 50 inmates and we aim to make them self-reliant through some skill training. But it is not an easy job as transgende­r people face discrimina­tion in every step of life. Many of them don!t want to take such skill training as they lack the confidence to become self-reliant.#

At present, inmates of the home are getting training on stitching and beauty care so that after completion of the training they could get themselves engage in some private entities or start their business ventures.

"To arrange jobs for the inmates of the home, talks have been underway with various companies and business groups of Assam. Moreover, if anyone wants to start her own business, then we will also provide all kinds of possible help through the Social Welfare department,# said Swati Bidhan Barua, the Associate Vice-Chairperso­n of the Assam State Transgende­r Welfare Board and a transgende­r activist.

According to Barua, the main aim of the initiative is to disengage the transgende­r people from begging and to give them a better life. "Another important aim of the initiative is to help the inmates get in touch with their families. It is a pilot project and based on its success, more such centres will be establishe­d in different parts of the State,# Barua said.

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