Mumbai, 2021: ‘Transgender in India- Achievers and Survivors: An ode to Transwomen’ was launched on Friday, July 2, 2021 at Equitas Small Finance Bank. Chief Guest Mr Shambu Kallolikar IAS, Secretary Social Welfare along with Special Guest Mrs D. Rathna IAS, Commissioner of Social Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu released the book written by celebrated IAS officer, Dr C K Gariyali IAS and her social activist daughter Priyadarshini Rajkumar. The first copy was received by Shri P N Vasudevan, MD & CEO, Equitas Small Finance Bank, in the presence of Mr R Prabhakaran, Advocate of Supreme Court; Mr Vikas Arya, Director DAV Group of Schools; Mr Murali Vaidyanathan, Senior President & Country Head, Equitas Small Finance Bank; Ms Apsara Reddy, Senior Editor and many others.
The book, ‘Transgender in India’ is authors’ tribute to the transgender community who have suffered immense indignities and discrimination in India starting from the decline of the Mughal Empire and the beginning of the British Raj. The book narrates how the community was criminalized and prevented from following their traditional profession, wearing female attire, or performing in public and reduced to penury and ignominy. This situation continued in free India till 2014, when the Supreme Court passed its momentous judgement decriminalizing them.
As it discusses the suffering of the society’s non-binary members, the book also applauds their resilience and efforts in breaking the barriers, attempting to achieve equality and be recognised as the useful and responsible citizens of this country. It documents the depiction of transgender in contemporary Indian literature, important judgements, and initiatives by governments, NGOs and the corporate sector to support the transgender community. It also commends the unique initiative of Equitas Bank in providing the inclusive credit to transgender clients enabling them to set up their own micro-enterprises. Simultaneously, the authors also praise the COVID relief initiatives of DAV foundation in providing Samrakshna livelihood loans for transgender in coordination with Equitas.
This ode to transwomen showcases the stories of several transgender achievers of India including world renowned Bharatanatyam dancer Padmashri Narthaki Nataraj, acclaimed journalist and social activist Apsara Reddy, police officer Prithika Yashini, fist transgender lawyer Sathyasri Sharmila, international model Namitha Ammu, actor Jeeva Subramanian, renowned social worker Noori Amma, first transgender pastor Esther Bharathi, founder of Born2win Swetha Sudhakar, founder of Tozhi, Dr Sudha, founder of BRAVOH Olga Aaron, First transgender Engineer Grace Banu as well as Therukuttu artist Dhanalakshmi and Corporate HR head Rehka.
The book has been published by Saraswathi Educational Cultural and Charitable Trust with the generous support of United Way an NGO working towards inclusive society Noted transgender Senior Editor Apsara Reddy has written the foreword for the book. The writers, publishers and other patrons hope that the book will help in changing the attitude of people and making our society more inclusive.