The C Times,30 May 2017, Agartala:
The shelter is one of the basic rights and needs of human being. Though there are state-supported shelters and old age ashrams for the homeless there is nothing for the transgender. The situation has been very difficult for them because of even govt, shelters reject them.
Some of them may from economically stable families but they either run away from home unable to bear the stigma and suffocation or are forced to get out by their family members.
Hence transgender struggle for a separate shelter has been a long standing one.
In this scenario, the Chennai Corporation has done something worthy of applause—it has opened its first night shelter for transgender after five years of continuous struggle.
The shelter doesn’t just act as a roof over their heads. On the one hand, it acts as a halfway house for transgender for whom it is difficult to find a place to stay. On the other hand, in the time that they stay there, they are also given vocational training to help them find employment and become self-dependent.
The shelter, which can accommodate 25 women, is already filled to capacity. Sumithra is one of the transgender who living there. She said that,
“This home is very useful for us—it is comfortable, the neighbours are social, and the locality is good. There should be more such homes across the State.”
These Trans people will be staying here for a period of four to six months within which they will be given sufficient training to get back on their feet. However, it is not just important to give them skill training but also essential to sensitise the employers to be willing to accept them as employees.
They were initially fighting for a shelter for 50 people, but they are able to get space only for half the strength. Moreover, there is no compound wall to protect them at night and there is also a lack of metro water facility. Hopefully, these issues will be addressed at the earliest by the Chennai Corporation.