Mumbai: Vasai welcomes school for transgenders in Pride month

Mumbai: Vasai welcomes school for transgenders in Pride month

In a heartwarming initiative, a new school for transgender people has opened in Vasai East. Touted to be the first such educational institute in Maharashtra, its aim is to empower the community and make them self-reliant.

Kinnar Vidyalaya is located off Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway in Rajivali, Vasai East. Mehandi Ali, 47, a resident of Lokhandwala, told mid-day that she had been planning to open a school for transgenders for a long time as the community faces discrimination almost everywhere. “It was my dream project. I had been planning to open it since the last four years, but it was always stonewalled for one reason or another. The lockdown only added to the delay, but I am happy to get the support of Shri Mahashakti Charitable Trust and many government officials, including IPS and IRS officers, doctors, and advocates who came forward to fulfill my dream.”

The Kinnar Vidhyalaya is surrounded by slums. The chairman of the Trust, Rekha Tripathi, said that apart from providing free education to transgender pupils, they will also encourage children from disadvantaged families to seek admission. Vishal Bhagat, general secretary of the trust, said, “At present the school is open to students upto Standard V, but we plan to extend it till matric- ulation.” Kinnar Vidyalaya will also offer vocational guidance and skill development workshops in handicrafts, waste management, beauty and interior decoration, among other subjects. “We will also hold exhibitions of handmade products to encourage and publicise their craft work,” Bhagat said.

According to Ali, there are well educated members in the transgender community, who aren’t getting jobs in private firms. “I would like to encourage the corporate sectors to be open to hiring transgender people to work there.” Ali, who is well-known in Mumbai, has worked in TV soaps and done cameos in Bollywood movies. She has recently signed a movie titled, Balak.

MC Editor

Mompreneur Circle - Join India's most trusted community of 700,000+ married women and mothers.