One of the most dynamite speakers at Nirmatatva, who enchanted the audience with her buoyant confidence and inspiring stories was Shri Gauri Sawant, a Social Activist working for the Transgender Community of India.
She began her speech at Nirmatatva by talking about gender equality and women empowerment and raised a question as to why we need to think about such issues. She spoke about Indian mythology which recognized and respected the various transgender persons, and gave an example of Shikhandi, the first transgender to become a King in an era where women were not accepted as rulers. Shri Gauri Sawant gave some glimpses about her journey and mentioned that transgender persons have only begun to be recognized since the year 2014, after the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill was passed. Only after this bill, it has become mandatory for every organization and institution to add a category for them. She also threw light on her journey of raising an orphan, which was her first experience of raising a child being a transgender.
Shri Gauri Sawant is credited for founding an organization, ‘Aaji Cha Ghar’, which provides a home to many abandoned girls and senior transgender persons.
Picture Courtesy: Pratikriti- The Photography Club