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Eunuch community demands iPads, not gold

entertainment Updated: Jan 14, 2012 00:22 IST
Shara Ashraf
Shara Ashraf
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Saris, gold bangles and cash are so yesterday. It’s laptops, smart phones and iPads that the new generation of tech-savvy eunuchs, or hijras, in the city are asking for at wedding and childbirth functions as badhai (a custom in which eunuchs sing and dance, give blessings and receive gifts in return).

Puja Bagga, a resident of GK I, whose brother-in-law got married last November, shares, “I was taken aback when a group of eunuchs demanded laptops instead of the traditional gifts. We had to purchase three Toshiba laptops for them.”

Najma and her party got Blackberry Torch phones from a Vohra family in Panchsheel Park. “Ab hum saara din BBM pe baat kar sakte hain (now, we all chat with each other all day through BBM),” she says.

Another eunuch, Kajal got an iPad at the wedding of an NRI’s daughter in Kailash Colony. “I had to pay a student to teach me how to use it. All my friends are going gaga over it,” she says. Kajal now teaches other eunuchs to make the most of the newly gained knowledge.

High-tech gifts also mean serious business for some. Saira (name changed on request), a eunuch who’s a sex worker, earlier went to a cyber café to solicit clients through Facebook. But ever since she demanded a laptop at a wedding in Sainik Farm, life’s become far easier. “I’m connected all the time now. I keep blessing the Chauhans for the gift,” she says.

But not everyone relents to such demands. Ram Dulari Gulyani from East of Kailash turned down the demand for a high-end home theatre system from eunuchs at her son Vijay Gulyani’s wedding. “It was ridiculous. I negotiated with them and sent them away with cash,” she says.

Shashi Bhushan, a project coordinator from gay rights NGO Naaz, says, “It shows that the kinnar community is progressing with the times. They are aware of the advantages of being well-versed with technology.”