On Saturday morning, 33-year-old Rakshitha Prabhakaran left from Perumbakkam at 5 a.m. to the beach near Nemili. Soon after her friends joined her, a group of persons playing football stared at them and murmured about their presence. But, they joined the transgender persons in picking up plastic waste.
Eight transgender persons collected close to 50 kg of plastic waste during the beach clean-up organised by Pharm Foundation and Utkarsh Global Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
“We were more than thrilled that they joined us in the cleaning process. Earlier, we were casual about disposing plastics and didn’t have any awareness about its implications on the environment. But now that we engaged in this initiative, it changed our perception and the need to be careful and do little things to protect the environment,” Rakshitha, a postgraduate in Chemistry, said.
M. Shivapriya, 21 and a transwoman, said by being a part of such activities, people’s opinion about transgender persons would change with time. “They always associate many of us with sex work and begging. But that is not the case; many of us work hard and somehow find other opportunities and jobs,” said Shivapriya, who works as an office assistant.
M. Nila, 36 and herself a transwoman, who started Pharma Foundation said such events give an opportunity for the community to give back to society. “During several crises, be it the pandemic or the floods, when many in the community needed groceries and other essentials, there were many who decided to lend a helping hand. Now, these are ways we love to give back to our city,” she adds.
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