They have nudged you at traffic signals and demanded money in return for blessings, probably even annoying you in process. But for several members of the city's eunuch community, this means of livelihood is a choice they haven't made consciously, claim media students of Wilson College.
The college students have launched an awareness campaign, De Taali, to sensitise Mumbaiites towards eunuchs.
"Members of the eunuch community fight a daily battle for acceptance. They are forced into prostitution, ostracised by society and subjected to violence and injustice," said Bhavya Pandit, 20, campaign member.
"We seek to promote sensitivity among the general population and bring the community into the mainstream," she added.
The campaign is part of the students' paper on contemporary issues. The six-member group including Pandit, Omkar Khandekar, Renita Dsilva, Arlene D'souza, Aniket Mane and Tristan Fernandes, have organised a five-day workshop from Monday.
The workshop will include film screenings, interactions with eunuchs and an open forum for college students to overcome prejudices.
"In Mumbai alone, there are more than 1.5 million eunuchs who are plagued by problems of identity crisis and discrimination. We will organise these workshops in several city colleges to change common perceptions, " said Khandekar, 20.
The students have also organised a 'De Taali Gig' at the Carter Road Amphitheatre on January 5.
The gig will include performances by music bands Agnee and Mumbai Stamp, besides Gaurav Dagaonkar of 'College Days' fame.
The campaign is already garnering interest with the group's page on Facebook already receiving 232 likes.
"It is quite overwhelming to note that college students are moving out of their curriculum to study real-life issues," said Harish Iyer, a gay rights activist who will participate in the event.