Breaking free from the clutches of social stigma, Abhina Aher, 34, a transgender activist has reached out to thousands of transgenders living across 17 Indian states over the last 14 years.
Aher has been chosen as a ‘role model’ for city-based transgenders, whom she will address at ‘Anandi Anand Gade’, a community event organised by a social group, Anam Prem on April 5.
“There are several issues affecting the transgender community. Within the community, the young members are exploited by seniors and individual stigma leads to suicide and other forms of self-destruction,” said Aher, who is the programme manager of Pehchan, an HIV/AIDS intervention programme working for Men having Sex with Men (MSM) and the transgender community. “Externally, the community continues to be denied basic human rights and acknowledgement in policy making,” she added.
Over the past week, members of ‘Anam Prem’ have been visiting homes of transgenders in a bid to blur the lines of discrimination. “By spending an entire day at each of their houses, we got to know them beyond their genders,” said Santosh Joglekar, a member of the group.
The event will be held at Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre in Matunga.