After giving the voting rights to transgenders, Pahal Welfare Society thought that along with the fundamental rights it is important to include them socially. Hence, they decided to organise a workshop which sensitised Delhi police, and other persons, this workshop was headed by Ms Sarita Shukla and Mr Pradeep Kumar. Their agenda behind organising this workshop was to let people know that till the date transgenders are completely accepted to our society we should let them work peacefully. Before a few weeks of workshop transgenders had this complain that people tease them during begging money at traffic intersections, even police used to trouble them for commission. Transgenders are poorly combined into our society, we often treat them with disdain, outcast them from our community without knowing that what is so different about them from us?
Pahal welfare society started their not so small talk in the year of 2013, about transgenders by distinguishing them from us. To the readers who consider themselves as not a trans means that they identify with the gender they are born with. While Trans are given the male gender but identify with female gender. We assume them as how they seem to be, we are never concern of what they feel, or how they want to be. Trans are often seen wearing lipstick, dressing up like women, love to dance and sing, where as human with male sex are not allowed to behave femininely. Our society has constructed few norms long back ago that male must be masculine, and female must be behaving femininely, but nobody has told trans, how to behave. As society doesn’t count them amongst us, poorly discriminated by the society they made their own community. It is said around 4,000 years ago hijra community was made, and since then we often see them begging for money, or coming over our place in auspicious events, they call it ‘Toli Badhai’. Living an isolated life is very tough, but they feel suffocated and lost when we don’t even let them live peacefully alone, as they left with no feeling of progression.
This is how Pahal Welfare Society familiarise everyone in the workshop, educate them about transgender’s community. Members of Pahal believe, “Sex I what you are born with, gender is what you recognize, and sexuality is what you discover”. All they mean is gender identity refers to each person deeply felt individual and core experience of gender, which is not necessarily has to resemble the sex one is born with. Pahal is associated with many transgenders, they not only help them empowering but also understand their state of mind. When I have been asked to write about the goods deeds done by Pahal, after getting out of an overexcited state of mind I interacted with a couple of transgenders. After that interaction, I got to know so many facts about them, I had this sympathetic feeling for them, and pity on ourselves that we left out such beautiful human beings. There is a stage comes in every transgender’s life, when she goes through gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a stage when one feels distress, confused, and unhappy because they feel the mismatch between their bodies and their gender. Imagine how difficult it is for anyone, when one is not able to identify its gender. In conversation with Mona(transgender), he expressed, “At the age of 9-10, when my male friends used to touch me in a friendly way, I felt it in other way. Gradually I realised that I liked boys, instead of girls. Whereas, every other boy in my class had interest in girls. My classmates started teasing me by calling ‘girl’ as I had a habit of walking like a girl, talking like a girl. It was the most devastated period of my time, as I used to feel very alienated, there was no one like and I could not share those confused feelings with anyone. One evening, sitting on a bench, wondering what and why is this happening with me? Waiting for someone to I could hold, could tell what I was going through, and then I saw a group of people I have never seen before. They were dressed up like women, lipstick, dark kajal, low waist saree, they all were looking beautiful. Somewhere I wanted me to grow up to such women. Wait! Were they women? No! I didn’t know what to call them, only thing I got to know that day is I belong to that group. The mutual vibe we share, took me straight towards them, I often used to spend time with them, quality time. A few weeks later I got to know, that they are known as hijras or transgender. I loved being with them because they understood me, they felt the same way I did. After years when my parents got to know that I am not like them, I belong to the community they hated for no reason, to the group they would never accept. My father used to beat me even in my 20s, he still thinks I am in a bad company that’s why I behalf like this, the fact is nobody understands me in my home, they never tried to. Finding people alike me is always fortunate, as I can share my feeling with, but joining their community was never fortunate. People think that we earn a lot by begging money, and through toli badhai. However, the reality is we have to do sex work also, and whatever we earn is not directly for us, we need to pay to our Guru and they decide what we will get. Once, we have joined the Hijra community. We are not allowed to meet our families. Now, my parents don’t care how I feel, all they want me to find a respectful job. I myself want to look forward to life, I want to become a makeup artist. Pahal welfare has helped me a lot, they have given me the identity, they made me access to bank, almost all fundamental rights. They are trying hard to get me a job. I am also trying my best. To the common readers all I want to say it, we belong to the same world, same human race, still we are living an abandoned life we don’t deserved. Yes, we can’t expect you to feel us, but if we all try to connect in order to make a non-discriminated world, we probably can.”
In 2013, Pahal did this workshop, after seven meetings with ASI SI, Inspectors and Delhi Police of East Delhi. Through this Gender Sensitization Workshop, Pahal Welfare Society offered a broader perspective, understanding the state of Hijras in community, and expected all the listeners and readers to be indulged if possible in NGOs, governmental bodies or if not possible, help them by sensitizing other people and by accepting transgenders in society. As an individual citizen and important part of community, it is our responsibility to contribute to this cause, stand up, and speak about it.
One of the most dedicated and responsible executive members of Pahal Welfare Society is Mr. Pradeep Kumar. He believes society is hard for everyone, lets read what he has to say, “Patriarchal Society is not easy for men even. Yes, we have been given enough freedom, but this freedom has its own conservative definition. We men are expected to earn well to breed and raise the family well. Instead of making money and filling up our pockets to the brim if we choose to do social work, we bring shame to our family. But, I had decided that I will dedicate my life in working for transgenders, from their fundamental needs to their social acceptance. People think, we are selfless, we don’t get anything in return. This isn’t true, making effort to bring smile in other’s face, helping others and living a life for them give pleasure to us at the topmost level. We do it for our pleasure, because when they smile carefreely we recover unconditionally.”