As Chennai reels under the aftermath of the floods caused by the worst rainfall the city has received in a century, several people have offered to put up strangers in their houses. A transgender woman too is one of them.
Living Smile Vidya, a transgender woman in the city has opened up her home to transgender persons who are in need of accommodation following the flood. However, she says that she will not of course, turn away anybody else who requests for help.
"If others approach me and want a place to stay, they are most welcome. But we are giving preference to transgender persons. It is just to make them feel more comfortable," she told The News Minute on Friday.
A theatre artist and activist, Vidya shares a two-bedroom apartment in Ambattur with her three roommates and says they can put up around eight more people in the house.
"I am not doing this because I have heard about someone being mistreated or denied accommodation because they are transgender persons. It is because transgender persons are mistreated by the society more frequently. This is so that they have an option if they are in need," she says.
Amongst the scores of messages circulating on social media, which offer help to flood victims, one carries Vidya's message with her contact details.
When TNM spoke to her on Friday afternoon, she said she had not yet received any communication from somebody looking for accommodation.
"It could be because our place is a little too far from the city," she says.