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Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2020

Transgender people conduct a door-to-door survey for COVID-19 In Chennai

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LGBTCHENNAI: : No source of income and many mouths to feed is a stressful situation faced by the lesser fortunate sections of society and even more worrisome amid the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus COVID-19.
In the face of such a crisis, the transgender community in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai and other parts of the state have ensured that they combine their efforts and resources to ensure that they can safely tide over it.
“In our community, we have hardly any savings and don’t think much about the future needs, but now amid the lockdown, the sources of income have vanished and we can’t even seek alms. However, we have managed so far with the largesse of many well-wishers, corporates and NGOs,” said Jaya, General Manager of Sahodaran, an organization that works for the LGBTIQ community.

The transgender community has over 2,000 members across Chennai and have been sourcing and distributing the available resources, relief material among themselves, while also donating a considerable bit of it to the needy and homeless.
“With the support of the Police department, we have been able to reach out across the city and distribute over 300 bags of essentials that include rice, oil, sugar, pulses and also soaps.
Beyond Chennai, we have also been asking our friends to provide succour in cash or kind to our community who are living in other districts of the state,” Jaya added.
When most ration (public distribution system) cardholders get their share of essentials and a small dole in cash, many in the transgender community don’t get it as they don’t possess ration cards. “I requested various government officials and highlighted the plight of our community, after which they offered to provide the essentials and Rs 1,000 in cash for everyone with a transgender card.

We also use the supplies to prepare food and share it with the needy and homeless who have no place to go,” said Radha, a transgender who contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election from Central Chennai constituency.
Transgenders Durga Sri and Maya Sri saw an opportunity in adversity and now are part of the government’s door-to-door surveillance effort to contain Covid-19. They work for a little over five hours every morning, covering about 160 homes and checking for coronavirus symptoms and assessing the condition of the aged and the vulnerable groups.
“We get to earn Rs 15000 a month, thanks to a police officer who suggested that we take up this opportunity offered by the civic body in Chennai. This work is temporary would last only about two months, but they provide us with PPEs and fresh meals. I have been involved in social work and this campaign is a blessing in disguise.

Ten transgender people have been rendering help to the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), in Thiruvanmiyur division to conduct a door-to-door survey for COVID-19 and acute respiratory infection symptoms.
Ten transgender people have been rendering help to the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), in Thiruvanmiyur division to conduct a door-to-door survey for COVID-19 and acute respiratory infection symptoms.
The transgender people have been roped in by the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women, under the Tamil Nadu National Urban Livelihood Mission (TNULM) scheme, to assist the GCC.
“A few of them approached me as they did not have employment opportunities. I approached the GCC and took them in. They have been collecting data from households for the past two weeks,” said S. Radha, community organiser, division 181 and 182, zone 13, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women

M. Nila, 34, of Perumbakkam, is one of the 10 transgender people conducting the survey. After completing B. Pharm, she has been running an NGO called PHARM Foundation, working towards the education and empowerment of transgender people.

“We cover 120 houses per day and have been doing it for the past two weeks. We check for symptoms. To date the residents have been responded properly to our questions and have expressed concern about our safety during the pandemic,” said Ms. Nila
(ndtv with Agency Inputs).

 

 

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