Another try to build shelter homes for transgender

BBMP City

BBMP to revive the making the first shelter home for the homeless transgender in Bengaluru

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is going to restart work on a new shelter home for abandoned and homeless transpersons near Upparpet police station near Majestic Metro Station. They have tied up with the Dream India Project that comes under Impact India, an NGO.

An official from the Social Welfare Department, BBMP said, “We couldnot execute the formation of the shelter home in 2019 but now with the help of Impact India , we have again devised a plan to build it..” He added, “There are at least 20,000 transpeople in the city. The aim is to locate the homeless ones and shelter them.”

Dr. Sampath, Convener of Impact India,said, “The shelter home near Upparpet police station at Gandhinagar was meant to safeguard the homeless transcommunity. But, now, it is availableto cis-men only. The Upparpet station will now become a designated shelter home for transgendersand we will shift the existing people to our Halasurushelter homes for men and women.”

Dr. Sampath added, “We planned to make a separate shelter home for trans people way back in 2019, but that required a lot of tracing and counseling for  the community. We had to make them understand the concept of shelter homes. We did our annual survey and found that there are 15,000-20,000 transgenders in Bengaluru, out of which 75 percent are homeless.We are trying to locate them.”

Sister Sally, a caretaker at Lakshmi Venkateshwara Niwasam, a rented home for trans people said, “We  meet these individuals when they are not in a good mental state as they are abandoned due to stigmas that prevail in our society.” She added, “They are mostly abandoned by their families and have to beg to survive.Since there are ten of them living under this roof, it is a good step to build up a shelter home for the rest.”

Dr. Dolly Florence Murmu, Associate Professor of Sociology at Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi said, “Transgender community is stigmatized due to stereotypes that prevail even after decriminalization of Article 377. The least our government can do is help these individuals with basic necessities that include food and sheltering.”

Preeti, a transgender living at Lakshmi VenkateshwaraNiwasam, Yelahanka said, “I was the first person to get help from Sister Sally, and now, we are ten people living here. Since 2019, if I ever witnessed any homeless transgender, I bring them here.” She added, “There is not much place left here so half of us will shift to the new shelter home that is coming up.”

Shanti, another transperson said, “We find it difficult to accommodate ten people here, so we need to find another place. But due to the state of our society, it often becomes difficult to find accommodation.”

Ms. Shilpi Marwaha, gender activist and theatre director at Sukhmanch Theatre, Delhi said, “I spread awareness to stop the ongoing discrimination against the trans community, there are many trans people who are homeless and have taken my help to overcome with a lot of counseling.” She added, “It takes a lot to stand up on your own family. Many homeless transgenders that I meet are between the age of 16 and  25. Shelter homes provide these young people with the basic survival facilities that involve food and job opportunities to gain wage for their self-dependence.”

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