To celebrate the momentous day when the world’s bulkiest tome on the rights and duties of citizens came into effect, residents of Gaur Cascades, a high rise in Raj Nagar Extension, did something equally momentous…
They invited Naaz Joshi — the first Indian transgender to be crowned as Ms World Diversity in 2018, for the second time in a row — to hoist the tricolour, along with Reena Rai.
Rai runs Deepa Ardanareshwar Empowerment Foundation, which works on gender sensitisation for the third gender.
And what prompted this rather unusual choice?
In the words of Anand Yadav, president of Gaur Cascades AOA: “They have been marginalised for just too long — that, when the Constitution of India gives them equal rights. We wanted to put out a message that it’s high time we embraced them into the mainstream.”
Later, Reena and Naaz also spoke on how to build sensitivity around transgenders.
Speaking on their experience, Reena said, “I think it took Naaz by surprise — such high levels of love and warmth from the residents, especially the women and the kids. It was very encouraging for her.”
She continued, “It was refreshing to know that there are people who see transgenders as human beings — generally people view them as objects of ridicule.”
The support was, in fact, so huge that a resident, who introduced himself as a lawyer, offered to finance anybody from the LGBTQ community wanting to make a career in the field of law!
Looking rather embarrassed, Reena confided in hushed tones to City Spidey, “Sadly, I don’t remember his name.”
Elaborating the work of her NGO, Reena said, “They are marginalised and restricted in their choice of employment — surviving through begging at traffic signals, or prostitution, or putting up the equally humiliating naach-gaana during functions. If given the right opportunity, they can achieve more, as they possess the qualities of both a man and a woman. But for that, first we have to accept them as equals. That’s what I’m aiming for through my initiative, We are Your Strength.”
The entry of transgender as residents, inside residential condominiums, especially as tenants is extremely rare, and Reena acknowledged the same. “People living in high-rises should really get done with this attitude of ‘transphobia’ now, and accept transgenders inside their societies and life."
To this, Yadav added, “We observe Republic Day to celebrate our Constitution, which has given them equal rights just like everyone else. Discrimination against them will go against the very spirit of this historic day.”
Well, Gaur Cascades has opened its heart — and its gates — to all… time others did too!TAGS: Gaur Cascades / Raj Nagar Extension / Ms World Diversity in 2018 / transgenders / Deepa Ardanareshwar Empowerment Foundation