How often is it that we get into an auto or a taxi and encounter a new friend in there? Moreover, that friend is an amazing transgender auto-waali.
It was one of those lucky days for Poonam Khinchi from Mumbai when she hopped into an auto-rickshaw. It was a routine ride until she noticed the auto-rickshaw driver’s long, bright pink nails. “Itna lambha nakhun (Such long nails)?” she asked. “Didi, Eid ki tayaari kar rahi hoon (I’m preparing for Eid),” came the response.
Manju, the auto-waali, too has a past just like any other member from the LGBTQ community.
Poonam’s curiosity didn’t end with Manju’s long nails. Before they arrived at her destination, Poonam already had Manju’s entire life story with her.
Poonam while talking to Manju, learned that she had a boyfriend and she currently lives with him. Manju used to work in a hotel until she was fired due to her sexual orientation and gender identity.
She further expressed that she now works as a rickshaw driver but dreads working at night as passengers tease her.
Their conversation is casual but it can be seen that women and even trans-women do not feel safe after a certain time. Manju’s story is sad and yet beautiful and people could not stop praising her.
So proud to see her fight against all odds and ride like a queen on the street of Mumbai’ Poonam Kirchi wrote.
The post has received an outpouring of support
‘Hats off to Manju’, one user wrote. ‘Amazing nails… And her smile’, another said.
Transgenders in India
India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized trans identities as a third gender. But, the community still remains marginalized. Families and employers shun trans individuals. Moreover, they are often mistreated due to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
India’s newly-elected government plans to re-introduce a controversial transgender rights bill within its first 100 days in office.
However, Indian transgender group, Sampoorna, described the bill as a ‘great travesty of justice’.
‘In the name of empowering us, this bill further attempts to criminalize and regulate our identities through arbitrary and draconian means’ a spokesperson told Gay Star News.
‘It must be opposed at all costs’.
The fight for trans rights is a long one. Did you know that the trans community has been in India as long as civilization has?
Source: Gay Star News