Dumped By Family At 13, Taslima Nasreen Is Beacon Of Hope For Transgenders

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Breaking stereotypes involves courage, determination, and firm stand against pessimism, especially when it comes to age-old societal beliefs on gender. For ages, the transgender community has struggled to live a dignified life. Taslima Nasreen, a transgender woman, has broken all norms to come up with a unique initiative of starting a food catering business entirely by the transgender community. Her startup “Halal catering” is a massive hit in Tamilnadu and Kerala with their tongue-tingling dishes. 

She has also trained six other teams of transgender women for catering and helped them start their own food catering business. Even you can experience their esteemed service on your good days at home. It can help them in a lot many ways, most importantly, to live a dignified life. 

Hailing from Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, Taslima Nasreen had a very different story to share. Belonging to an affluent family, Taslima enjoyed her childhood to the core with every comfort one can imagine. However, the dark days arrived when Taslima turned 13. 

“I wasn’t someone I wanted to be. I was terrified. My family didn’t accept me as I am, and finally, they abandoned me. I spent days at Tirupur bus stand, haunted by loneliness and falling into the clutches of hunger, I decided to commit suicide. I got rescued by some transgender people at a park in Tirupur.”

As she didn’t want her family to identify her anymore in the town, she moved to Bangalore. After undergoing sex surgery there, she searched for jobs but found it difficult to find one. She begged at traffic signals. To make the situation worse, she was diagnosed with severe jaundice. Trying out every hospital there, she realized that there are no proper treatment facilities for transgenders. Somehow Taslima managed to get treated at a government hospital in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu.

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Emergency funds sent to 250 families

Getting her life back again, she took a bus to Chennai. Through some menial jobs, she managed to earn a paltry sum. For the first time, she decided to unveil her womanhood, in an eagerness to buy a nose-pin for herself. As soon as she entered the shop, the owner found it very strange to allow her. She was ashamed, ill-treated and not allowed to step inside. That is when a woman shopping nearby shared her kind gesture by consoling and enquiring about Taslima’s work and livelihood. Later the lady was identified to be Anjali, one of the heads of “Mahaveer Trust”. 

With Anjali’s help, Taslima began to volunteer for an NGO ‘Small Difference’ to take care of patients who were abandoned by families at the CMCH. At NGO, she worked as a cook. She started cooking chicken and mutton biryani in many functions. 

Years after, these experiences helped her with the idea of starting “Change trust” with the aid from Rotary club.

Training Other Transgender Women

Being a victim of discrimination herself, she is striving hard to ensure a safe and dignified life for all transgenders. Taslima personally has trained over fifty transgender women in cooking, thereby paving the way for their independence. Through Change trust she has also taught Computer training, Jewel making sessions and tailoring to transwomen.

She has also organised Swachh Bharat – tree plantation drives, cleaning campaigns [esp in hospitals]. Motivated by her words, a large number of college students, along with their families also participate in the activities.

Tribal welfare

Taaslima with her team has built a school in a remote tribal village in Coimbatore. As this village is not easily accessible by any means, people were deprived of their basic needs. Building a school in such a far off location has helped the kids of the village.

Hospital welfare schemes

Taslima and her team have mobilized people for blood donation, organised cleaning camps at the hospital premises, arranged ambulance service for remote tribal areas.

She adopted two boys from the hospital where she used to work as the parents of the children couldn’t bear the cost of raising a child. Adding to this, she is also taking care of two elder women [One of them aged 103] at her home. Beaming with utmost pride, she calls four of them “her lifelines”. Considering the transformation of lives she sweats for, Taaslima is making sure the four of them are never deprived of anything!!

As transgenders, they are blessed to experience the soul and spirit of being both their peers. Its high time for society to change its perspective towards them. “Love and respect” is all that they seek!!

Taslima has been recognised at various forums for her work

  1. First transgender Swatch Bharath ambassador of India.[In turn for accepting the responsibility, she requested the officials to employ ten transgenders in city corporation roles every year. Result of this, Today more than fifty transgenders are working at various levels in city limits.
  2. Leading educational institute in Coimbatore recognised her as “IC(A)N of Coimbatore.”
  3. One of the 12 heroes from Coimbatore, recognised by Times of India.
  4. Unsung hero award by ICC (The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

Reach out to Taslima Nasreen at : 9787345432

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

KhaanaChahiye.com Is Distributing 40,000+ Meals Per Day In Mumbai During Covid-19 Lockdown

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Every global crisis affects every country in a different way depending on their socio-economic background. The COVID 19 pandemic hit India straight in its gut. After the lockdown daily wage workers and people who are underprivileged have been rendered out of their jobs. This has ultimately pushed them to an acute financial crisis so much so that even being able to afford two meals a day has become impossible. While we all wait for normalcy to bring us back our sanity, the financially disadvantaged people on the streets are fighting both the pandemic and hunger. 

KhaanaChahiye.com

In a scenario like so, a number of social groups have come forward to help in whatever way they can. One of the worst hit cities is Mumbai, where 5 lakh migrant workers, the homeless and underprivileged residents of slums and chawls, waiting endlessly for normalcy to return. KhaanaChahiye.com, an initiative by is cooking food and delivering them to those in dire need, every single day.

“khaanachahiye.com” that was launched in the city of Mumbai on March 29th, is one of its kind people-driven movements that has been running hall and hearty by the people coming from all across. It is that classic example of solidarity where people from all backgrounds, cultural and social has come together to ensure that every mouth is fed.

Brains behind KhaanaChahiye
Top : Pathik Muni, Ruben Mascarenhas. Below: Munaf Kapadia, Shishir Joshi

How does KhannaChahiye.com work

What’s different you ask? KhaanaChahiye.com has built a capacity of preparing over a whopping 50000+ meals on a daily basis by activating the closed kitchens on several Mumbai routes. Pathik Muni, who has been particularly invested in the mission says, “ We crowdsource demand on hunger pockets and then map it to supply-side by activating closed kitchens. Our partner NGO “Project Mumbai” with reach to the relevant stake holders in Government departments helps us facilitate permissions to activate these closed Kitchens with a turn around of 24 hours. Parallelly we raise funds to map the demand.”

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Emergency funds sent to 250 families

Areas of food distribution in Mumbai

The food that is prepared is not just hygienic but also fits the calorie count that is sufficient for a person to get him through the day. Every meal consists of daal-rice, aloo-sabzi, chole rotis, veg pulav etc.

KhaanaChahiye.com

KhaanaChahiye.com has a volunteer-driven collective drive in various areas of Mumbai where people in large numbers have come forward to contribute in the many ways possible. So far the initiative has covered the Bandra to Dahisar route on Western Express Highway, Sion to CST and underprivileged pockets between Mankurd to Kurla on Eastern Express Highway, Juhu to Dahisar on Linking road, a cluster of 1100 labor camps near Mumbai Central and a part of Dharavi Slums.

If you want to volunteer in Mumbai kindly reach out to [email protected]haanachahiye.com

Food distribution areas  in Mumbai by KhaanaChahiye.com

  1. To beggars & homeless
    • below the flyovers between Bandra to Dahisar on Western Express Highway,
    • between Juhu to Dahisar on Link road
    • below the flyovers between Ghatkopar to CST
    • under privileged pockets between Mankurd to Kurla.on Eastern Express Highway,
  2. To labour camps
    • a cluster of 1100 labour camp near Mumbai Central
    • a cluster of 3000 labour camp near Govandi
    • a cluster of 2000 labour camp near Mahul
    • a cluster of 750 labour camp in Colaba
  3. Parts of Dharavi Slums towards Cotton Green.
  4. Over 5000 meals in labour camps at various location identified and provided by the Assistant Commissioner,
  5. Serving food to over 5000 meals in Worli and Bandra on request of the local MLA and Corporator.

Immense demand of food in next 10 days

The intent of the movement is to continue the drive of feeding the needy in these difficult times at least until the lockdown is lifted by the government. However, as the days are proceeding, khaanachahiye.com initiative has identified more and more hunger pockets as a result of which the demand for food is just rising since the time it started. To give a perspective of the recently emerged roadblock, Pathik says, “Nine days back, we started with 1200 meals and we are already catering a demand of 40,000+ as of today. We have corporate donors for most of our requirement, but as the demand for food is rising, we are now looking to feed 5000 people in next 10 days, which turns out to be 1,00,000 meals. Therefore we need to now raise a sum of Rs 25,00,000/- which is huge and we really need the support of more people.”

KhaanaChahiye.com

To raise the funds, khaanachahiye.com initiative has come together with Efforts For Good and The Logical Indian to share this concern with our community members because as a citizen-driven movement, the khaanachahiye.com initiative needs more and more people to come forward and a set a sum aside to keep the initiative going in its full glory so that there are no impediments coming in the way of feeding every mouth in these difficult times. Additionally, one can also contribute by sharing the word with friends and families. COVID 19 is difficult for all, the least we can do is to contribute so that the struggle to cope up with the pandemic does not add up to the struggle to cope up with hunger as well.

Website: https://www.khaanachahiye.com ; FacebookInstagram , Twitter

If you’re an institution, donor, supply partner, the press who would like to partner with KhaanaChahiye.com, shoot a mail at [email protected]

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