Facing civic apathy, transgenders pool money and build concrete road in Gorakhpur

A group of 20 transgenders got a concrete road constructed in their Jangal Mata Deen locality after the municipal corporation did not pay heed to their repeated requests.

lucknow Updated: Jul 19, 2017 13:33 IST
Abdul Jadid
Abdul Jadid
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation,Jangal Mata Deen,Uttar Pradesh
The transgender group started building the road in May and it was ready in June. (HT Photo)

Pooling the money they earned by dancing and blessing new-born babies and newlywed brides, a group of 20 transgenders got a concrete road constructed in their Jangal Mata Deen locality here after the municipal corporation did not pay heed to their repeated requests for the same.

Recalling how difficult it was to tread on the road until it was built, Rameshwari, a member of the group, said they collected Rs 1 lakh and used it in the construction of the road. They started building the road in May and it was ready in June.

“Repeated requests to the municipal corporation to get the road constructed fell on deaf ears. Then we decided to do something on our own. All of us started saving part of our daily income and kept it with our guru .Within a year, sufficient amount of money was collected for the 120-metre long road,” said Rameshwari.

“Before the road was constructed, it was a nightmare to tread on it during the rains,” the transgender said.

Anirudhdh Kumar, a shopkeeper in the locality, said: “A concrete road was needed in the area. They (transgenders) hired labourers, arranged building material and even roped in a private engineer for the construction of the road. This proves that where there is a will, there is a way.”

A Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation (GMC) engineer, requesting anonymity, said: “It is wonderful. The construction of the same road would have cost around Rs 4 lakh had the work been carried out by the municipal corporation.”

Speaking to HT, Gorakhpur mayor Satya Pandey said: “Repair of roads, beautification and de-silting have been carried out by the GMC in Padri Bazaar, ward no 11, where transgenders live. However, somehow this area (Jangal Mata Deen) did not come to my notice. I will ask the municipal commissioner and other authorities to look into their grievances and solve them on a priority basis.”

The transgender community here enjoyed attention of the authorities during the tenure of Asha Devi, who was the first transgender mayor in Uttar Pradesh.

Gorakhpur is the parliamentary constituency of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. He is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath Temple here.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 13:33 IST