Funds are being raised to support elderly trans persons, trans men and trans women in Chennai, Thoothukudi and Hyderabad.

Heres how you can help trans persons tide over COVID-19 crisis
news Lockdown Tuesday, June 02, 2020 - 17:47

“When the lockdown ends, people will be able to go back to work. But most trans persons will not be able to do,” says Swetha Sudhakar, Founder of Born2Win Social Welfare Trust for transgender persons, established in 2013 in Chennai. Swetha has been raising funds to help trans persons in Chennai and in other districts in Tamil Nadu like Kovilpatti, Namakkal, Trichy, Villupuram, and more to tide over the financial crisis brought on by the lockdown.

“Last month we raised funds and helped over 1,000 persons in Chennai and in Tamil Nadu. This month too they have approached us. There are trans persons engaged in sex work and begging. There are trans persons who do not have their transgender cards issued by the government yet. There are elderly who are sick and cannot work. We are raising funds to help them out,” Swetha explains.

Between March 24 and April 30, Swetha was able to raise funds to provide 442 trans persons with dry rations, 127 with donations, 212 trans women living in villages with monetary help, 207 living outside Chennai and 26 elderly trans women. “We have also helped about 350 trans persons who did not have their ration card and transgender card issued. With help from Greater Chennai Corporation we were able to get them 15 kilos of rice, one kilo of dal and one liter oil, the same quantity of dry rations that the government has been giving for ration card holders in the state,” she adds.

Explaining why they don’t have a maximum amount received she says, “Financial assistance is the most pressing need for trans persons living across the state. There are bigger organisation that have been helping trans persons across the state. We have been helping all those who come to us seeking help, not just trans persons,” she adds. To contribute, you can reach out to Swetha on this number - 099418 87862.

Among the crowdfunding campaigns being done for trans persons on crowdfunding platforms like Ketto and Milaap are Hyderabad’s Women and Transgender Organisations Joint Action Committee and another from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. 

In Hyderabad, Women and Transgender Organisations Joint Action Committee has identified 200 transgender women who are most affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. This includes the elderly and the HIV positive trans women. The campaign aims to provide them with a monthly basic income of Rs. 5000 each for the months of April and May. 

Activist Grace Banu, Founder of Trans Rights Now Collective, who is behind crowdfunding, has identified at least 150 transgender persons including elderly trans persons, trans women, trans men, HIV patients and all other genders non-binary, gender non-conforming person in Thoothukudi who would benefit from the crowdfunding.

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