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Transgenders send rakhis to PM, hoping Transgender Bill will be passed this session

For the first time, the LGBTQ+ community is sending rakhis to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi hoping that the parliament will pass the Transgender Bill in next session.

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2018 15:53 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,Prime Minister,Rakhi
A transgender who has been working as a dancer and a make-up artist in Uttar Pradesh signs a letter that will be sent to the Prime Minister, along with a rakhi. (Gokul V.Shime/HT )

The transgender community in Delhi believes there can’t be a better day than Rakshabandhan to urge the PM to save them from humiliation and ridicule that has become a part of their lives. They are sending rakhis to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with a moving letter, requesting him to pass The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. Whisky, a transgender who has collaborated with India HIV/AIDS Alliance, the NGO that has organised this initiative, says, “Our PM says, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and we want to be a part of this. We want to live a life of dignity. We want laws to protect us. He is like our brother and we hope that he saves us from ostracization we face. We are sending rakhis to him with a letter hoping that the parliamentarians will pass the Transgender Bill.”

The letter being signed by the transgenders and the LGBTQ community will be sent to the PM’s address. (Gokul V.Shime/HT )

The community also wants the PM to address their issues publicly. “For his weekly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, Modi Bhai asks people to suggest topics. We want him to speak about us, about the LGBTQ+. He talks about technology, Goods and Services Tax (GST), Clean India, and Make In India and we want to be a part of his speech. This rakshabandhan, we request Modi Bhai to talk about us,” says Bobby, a sex worker.

The NGO chose LGTBQ+ coloured envelope to send their rakhis to PM. (Photo: Gokul V.Shime/HT )

The letter has been put inside a rainbow envelope that stands for LGBTQ+ pride.“Our families have disowned us. We don’t tie rakhi to anyone. This could be the first time that our community is sending rakhis to PM Modi. I believe that this will change our lives with jobs and respect,” says Raamkali, a transgender who runs an NGO, Basera Samajik Sansthan. Sonal Mehta, chief executive of India HIV/AIDS Alliance, is hopeful that the Transgender Bill will be passed. “Narendra Modi has shown formidable political leadership in the Parliament in the past years. During this Parliament session, we expect him to convince his fellow parliamentarians to pass the bill,” she says.

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First Published: Aug 23, 2018 14:39 IST