In Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, 'atma-nirbhar' smells like Biryani.
As the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown pushed people indoors, it left a group of ten transwomen without jobs, which often involved cooking at wedding. Even their other source of survival which involved walking upto cars at traffic signals to beg was lost.
However, they finally have new jobs now: One with which they can earn both money, and respect.
"We made a living from cooking biriyani at weddings. The pandemic claimed our work,” Sangeetha, president of the Coimbatore District Transgenders Welfare Association, told the New Indian Express.
The group is now the bosses of their own restaurant. Called Covai Trans Kitchen, the 32-seater restaurant will be completely run by a team of the team of ten, aged between 18 and 60 years. They will be taking care of orders, cooking, serving, billing and everything else.
The group are part of a team of 50 transpeople who took a 20-day training programme at Bishop Appasamy College’s hotel management department, reports The Times of India.
“While we initially only knew to make biryani, we were taught to make many chicken side dishes, parottas, variety rice dishes and even some bakery products so we can run a full-fledged hotel,” Rakshitha, one the group told TOI.
“They also taught us how to run and manage a restaurant, apply for Food Safety and Standards Authority licence and others,” she added.
Covai Trans Kitchen, a 32-seater restaurant on the Venkataswamy Road, RS Puram, Coimbatore will be completely run by a team of 10 transgender people. Kudos Sangeetha (President Coimbatore District Transgender Association) Swasti, & Appasamy College Management (for 6 mt training) pic.twitter.com/uYP9A2k9Pn— Satendra Singh, MD (@drsitu) September 4, 2020
This will be the third food outlet to be run and managed by transgenders in the Tamil Nadu.
While the other two shut down, this restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner.The group will be working in shifts to meet the all day-long rush.
Their daily profit target is initially set at Rs 2,000, but they are willing to expand to a second branch if they make enough profits. The restaurant is set to open next week.