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“None of my transgender friends is involved in prostitution.” Says Asina Who Has Dedicated Her Life For The Welfare Of Fellow Transgenders

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Asina was just 13 years old when she had to leave her home because of rejection from her family. Watching this young girl on the roads of Chennai, a daily wage worker gave her shelter and food. Everything went fine, but the guilt of being a burden on her caretaker used to engulf Asina every single day. 

Through the course of time, she earned some trans friends around her place of stay. They suggested her to shift to Mumbai for a living on her own. With other trans friends, she later shifted to the capital city but had to struggle against her cruel odds.

“Days were not easy there, each day would end with prayers for a dignified life. I just kept believing that things would change” she recalls with teary eyes.

Life for her seemed so unfair. Later in 2008, the Tamil Nadu government introduced a new scheme for transgenders encompassing various welfare initiatives for them. The government requested all transgenders to return to their hometown to avail their turn. 

transgender donation
Their Home

With this announcement, she returned to Tamilnadu with huge hope. Through the welfare initiatives, she received a ration card and voter card on her own. Asina was determined to use every opportunity that came on her way. She actively participated in every life counseling session conducted by the government. On her part, she registered some suggestions representing transgenders. The suggestions were based upon the struggles Asina battled. Soon, as a reward for her active involvement, she was made the District Transgender’s Association head.

Asina took her role responsibly. Forthwith, she took her position as a means to advocate dignity for her peers. Gathering all transgenders of her district, she conducted a meeting to acknowledge the schemes provided by the government for their welfare.

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Transgenders Rights and Rehabilitation Trust 

One of her primary objectives was to abolish prostitution among transgenders. At every gathering and meeting of her peers, she provoked them to think about alternate dignified means of living. With such primary goals, Asina and her fellows started “Transgenders Rights and Rehabilitation Trust” in Pudukkottai district. Almost all transgenders of the locality were made members of the association.

transgender donation

Asina and her transgender association also started a campaign to plant palm trees in the Pudukkottai district and emphasized its importance among the local people. They also set a world record in the largest plantation drive of planting palm seeds in maximum districts of Tamil Nadu at multiple venues on a single day.

Prostitution – Why us?

“If not prostitution, what would be the source of our income?” was the pertinent question she faced from her peers. Asina after much thought and discussions came up with a proposal that’s been helping many young transgenders to avoid choosing the wrong path for their living.

Transgenders Welfare Association includes transgenders of all age groups. Very few transgenders are employed by proper means. Asina suggested collecting a minimal sum every month from the people who found their shelter to help abandoned young transgenders and seek help from them. Though this monthly contribution is compulsory, the minimum amount could be as low as a rupee. 

All these years, a lot of young transgenders have been saved by this aid. Through this monthly monetary help from the elder trans people, many of the young trans kids were made to get trained in various extracurricular skills like dancing, singing, and catering, whichever they found interesting. They then make it their source of income. For elder trans people, other aids include setting up small makeshift canteens and flower mart.

My daughters!

During her initial days in TWA, Asina used to be very busy mentoring 5 to 6 young transgenders thrown out from their family. The bond they shared with her, affected her very deeply. Calling her “Amma”(Mother), the kids shared a close connection with her. Asina felt so new and overwhelming to this instinctual affection of a family. She never wanted to lose this new family and even adopted 2 of the girls despite her own poor financial situation. 

With her daughters Shivani and Dhivya, Asina built a small elegant home. 3 native breed cows also shared their space. Produce from them was marketed for their daily minimal financial needs. 

transgender donation

A veterinary doctor – Mr. Micheal who treats their cows in case of any illness, heard their past and offered to help Asina’s daughters with job offers in his field. Months later, he called them for training in Aavin (Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited). Shivani got a job and now looks after the Cattle welfare. 

Like Shivani, more than 10 transgenders have been posted in various government jobs. They have been trained through “Transgenders Rights and Rehabilitation Trust”. 

“Everything is possible for us. Till today we have not taken even a rupee as an external donation for our trust. We help our younger peers with whatever money we earn.” Asina takes pride in saying these.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns

Rahat COVID: Relief Work by Goonj

41,657 Raised
Out of 50,00,000

Share

No To Hunger : COVID Food Relief

2,06,58,8.5 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Provide Ambulance : Help Them Reach Hospital On Time

3,77,070 Raised
Out of 62,50,000

Share

Support Pranitha To Donate Oxygen Concentrators

7,36,332 Raised
Out of 30,00,000

Share

Bengaluru Needs Oxygen

6,28,448 Raised
Out of 25,00,000

Share

Help Them Breathe : Provide Oxygen Cylinders

34,08,399 Raised
Out of 1,00,00,000

Share

Project Annapoorna : Become A Hunger Warrior

7,582 Raised
Out of 1,50,00,000

Share

The Stray Project : A Thought Of Humanity

41,094 Raised
Out of 25,00,000

Share

Ended

Stand By Ladakh

40,962 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Closed

Support our Frontline COVID Warriors

25,615 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

Share

Flood Relief work by Goonj : PAN India

1,23,584 Raised
Out of 25,00,000

Share

Rebuilding Lives : Health, Education & Livelihood

4,87,978 Raised
Out of 50,00,000

Share

KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

97,02,146 Raised
Out of 1,00,00,000

Share

Campaign Closed
Brought machinery

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

1,36,544 Raised
Out of 3,85,000

Share

9 Happy Fridges Installed
Ordered a minivan and sent for modification

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

Let us know your thoughts on this story

Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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