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'Least I Could do': UP Woman Sells all Her Jewellery to Set up Shelter Home for Transgender Community

Image for representational purpose. (Credit: REUTERS)

Image for representational purpose. (Credit: REUTERS)

Agarwal's shelter home will be the first of its kind in Uttar Pradesh for a community that still has difficulty in getting bare minimum support from a society such as renting out a place or getting a job anywhere.

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Buzz Staff

For five years, Ranjana Agarwal conducted research on the trials and tribulations faced by the transgender community in Uttar Pradesh and upon realising the many problems faced by them such as lack of a proper homes, she decided to do something about it. So, Agarwal, 50, sold all her jewellery to buy a piece of land where she now wants to establish a shelter home for the people belonging to the transgender community.

Agarwal's shelter home will be the first of its kind in Uttar Pradesh for a community that still has difficulty in getting bare minimum support from a society such as renting out a place or getting a job anywhere. Selling all her jewellery, Agarwal managed to raise Rs 2 lakh, which she used to buy a 50-square yard plot of land outside Bulandshahr's Khurja town, TOI reported.

The shelter home, the foundation stone ceremony for which was performed on Wednesday morning, will be big enough to accommodate 20 people at a time. Agarwal herself lives in a rented house with her husband, two sons and in-laws but felt it was imperative that these people get a house of their own due to the unimaginable problems they face all the time.

Mahila Kalyan Chetna Samiti, an NGO with whom Agarwal is associated with has also been involved in improving the lives of the transgender community and now Agarwal thinks its a slow but a definitely positive step in the right direction.

Kerala was the first state to unveil a 'Transgender Policy' to end social stigma towards the members of the community, but the reality is that they find it difficult even to get decent accommodation despite neither in cities nor in villages. The state government had in 2018 initiated a plan to shelter homes for those among them who join its special literacy programme.

The third genders, who are part of 'Samanwaya', an exclusive continuing education programme for them designed by the state Literacy Mission, can enjoy safe stay at shelter homes till the completion of the course.

A shelter home for the transgender community was built in Gujarat last year in Vadodara. Agarwal also reportedly said that many other activists and NGOs have come forward to pitch in so that the shelter home can be turned into a positive and healing initiative for those from the community. "This is the least I could do for them," she was quoted as saying.


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