In a first of its kind, a shelter home has been opened in Chennai's Periyar Nagar. The Transgender Rights Association, a community-based organisation, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and National Institute of Social Defense, has set up the home, reported The Indian Express.
The organisation would be offering transgender people training programmes based on their interests, besides providing them food and shelter. Each person is permitted to stay up to one year.
R Jeeva Rangaraj, the founder and trustee of Transgender Rights Association, said as many as 25 persons could be accommodated in this shelter house.
"This is our 10-year-dream. We wanted a secure place for us, we wanted to break the stigma associated with our community members. We placed our request before the central government and they have now opened the shelter in Chennai, we are thankful to both the state and central governments," The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
"We are furthermore happy that the place is inaugurated in the Chief Minister's constituency. The objective of the shelter is to make all transmen and transwomen self-reliant," Jeeva said.
Essential computer training, tailoring, beautician training, jute bag manufacturing and jewellery making will be provided to them. It also plans to provide communication development skills for the ones who have completed their higher education.
Jeeva said that anyone from Tamil Nadu could join the organisation, adding that eight people, including four from Chennai, have joined.
"We verify their Thirunangai card and Aadhar card before admitting them as we have to update our member details to the district social welfare authority. We first do the case study, address their grievances, instil confidence in them and then once they are relaxed, we speak to them about what kind of setup we have here," Jeeva added.
Jeeva said the organisation would set up many such centres in the state, based on the result of these shelter homes.