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Teenage poet stands by Transgender community

Teenage poet stands by Transgender community
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Teenage poet stands by Transgender community

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Saranya Bhattacharjya started writing at the age of nine when she experienced really hurtful comments in school. Writing became her heaven and she...

Saranya Bhattacharjya started writing at the age of nine when she experienced really hurtful comments in school. Writing became her heaven and she feels very strongly about exclusion. Writing became her haven and she uses it as a catalyst to express her views about issues she feels strongly about.

The idea of compiling her poems into a book was born during the lockdown, when Saranya witnessed the plight of the community during the pandemic. She then began to work towards creating the book which involved help from her friends contributing to their artwork.

This effort was taken towards raising funds for the transgender community via the Mitr Trust. She has pledged the entire proceeds from the sale of the book 'Clash with Reason' to the Trust. The book is published by K2 publishing group and is available on Amazon and leading bookstores at INR 499.

Even though the Hijra (Transgender) community has a recorded history of over 4,000 years, Indian law has recently recognised transgender people, including hijras as a third gender. Despite this legislative reform, they are often the victims of abuse and discrimination and continue to be marginalised and vulnerable to bias.

Transgenders' rights are acutely violated. To earn a livelihood, they continue to resort to desperate measures such as begging, etc or suffer exploitation as sex workers. As a society, we have failed them by not allowing them basic rights to education and job opportunities.

Sharing about the ways that she has been helping the transgender community, Saranya shares, "I went to visit them felt that they needed so many things that we take for granted. I started collected from family and friends. Utensils, carpets, curtains, sheets. I saved up my birthday money and helped buy a refrigerator and microwave.

I met Rudrani at an event which was hosted by Angels Network which is an initiative that supports various causes and my mom is a part of it.

I was amazed at how to articulate Rudrani was and when we got talking, I realised how marginalised the transgender community is and how quite a few of them were struggling for even necessities. Rudrani runs Mitr Trust which works for the transgender community."

Saranya shares that a lot of people didn't want to help transgender's which was very sad as they are extremely marginalised, but thankfully some people were more than happy to help.

She adds, "When I spoke to Rudrani during the early days of the lockdown I realised that they were suffering and she was using her resources to help others with even something as basic as ration and medicines.

That's how I came up with the idea to collate my poems and ask my friends for artwork and the book was put together. A hundred percent of the money from the sales of the book is going to the Mitr Trust.

I want to continue to work with the community and help change the bias that people have against them. The transgender community is just like you and me and they are marginalised in the worst ways- it's time to change that."

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