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Transgenders are first humans, says Shree Ghatak

Kolkata: Shree Ghatak made it to the national headlines last year, for becoming the first transgender in Eastern India to get legally married. Understanding the need of the transgender community to be financially empowered, she flagged off Troyee Foundation, a non-governmental organisation on her wedding day.

A year down the line, Ghatak and Troyee organised a cultural evening to commemorate their achievement. “We all talk about the need of having an inclusive society, where the marginalised get their due, respect and more. A society where the third gender is treated like humans and not as someone to jeer on is what we all dream of. Troyee is an initiative, which aims at empowering the transgenders and the marginalised to lead a decent life,” said Ghatak.

Her NGO, for the past one year has been providing a platform to the transgenders to hone their skills. The one year old foundation has organised various workshops like jewellery making, bakery, chocolate making, jute bag making, make-up art and candle making so that these people can be economically empowered. “These workshops are free of cost and those who do not belong to LGBT community but belong to marginalised classes can also take part,” informed Ghatak.

The cultural wing of the organisation presented a dance recital ‘ek onno nari kahini’ where they presented a dance drama based on Ghatak’s life, which was nothing short a struggle, which she faced beautifully. A website of the foundation was also launched during the event, which was hosted at Purbashree, EZCC auditorium on Sunday.

Dressed in a resplendent orange with blue zari bordered Kathan saree and looking absolutely amazing, oozing confidence as she spoke to eNewsroom at the backstage. “In every aspect the talent that we have are compromised. After so much development, society is still not ready to acknowledge our existence, leave aside acknowledging our talents. Troyee Foundation comes here with the intention of providing a platform for LGBT community to bring their talents out,” mentioned Ghatak.

Eminent elocutionist Sujoy Prasad Mukherjee praised Ghatak and the work being done under the aegis of Troyee Foundation. “I would like to say that we should be acknowledged and thus treated as human being and not as gender. We are very much a part of the society,” said Sujoy, who beautifully rendered ‘O je mane na mana’. Dancer Kohinoor Sen Barat too stressed upon the need to help the LGBT community come out of the closet and assert their rights. “Those who have right intent they will get people with themselves who would help them to blossom. We are with the Foundation and Shree in her endeavour,” said Barat.

Ruby Das Sain who is a professor of Sociology at Jadavpur University spoke of the fact that in ancient times, people belonging to third gender were very much respected. Even during the Mughal regime, they are revered. “Things began to change once British colonised India. They criminalised third gender and after so many years of Independence, our society is yet to warm up to them in an open way.”

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