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Ashraya Sambhrama- a platform for the representation and celebration of the local transgender community in Udupi2 min read

January 13, 2021 2 min read


Ashraya Sambhrama- a platform for the representation and celebration of the local transgender community in Udupi2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

UDUPI: ‘Ashraya Sambharama’, an awareness programme for the transgender community, was conducted at the Aruru Lakshmi Narayana Memorial Hall in Ajjarkad, Udupi by Asharaya Samudhaya Sangahatane on January 9. The event was themed around the empowerment of the transgender community in the region.

The chief guest for the event Vishu Shetty Ambalpaddy- recently awarded the ‘Volunteer of National Level – Best Legal Authority’, a recognition given by the National Legal Services Authority, addressed the gathering on the need for societal reform and acceptance of the transgender community.

The cultural segment of the evening began with a theatrical drama that drew light on the rampant discrimination faced by the transgender community in society, with the use of words and actions to outline their struggles via the medium of performative art. A fashion show with three rounds- The Saree, Casuals and the Evening Gown, and a dance competition were also conducted.

Some of the issues faced by the trans community of Udupi, as well as in other parts of the nation, such as the lack of basic rights and freedom, exclusion from social and cultural participation, and having limited access to basic health and hygiene facilities were some of the deplorable topics discussed during the course of the event, amongst others. “This event was one of the most empowering ones for the transgender community in the region, to take notice of the struggles faced by the fellow members of our society,” said a participant at the event.

Founded in 2012, Asharaya Samudhaya Sangahatane helps take cognisance of the trans community in and around the Udupi district with its current team of 283 members, through programmes and workshops. The organisation stands to be a platform for discussion on key issues pertaining to the difficulty in receiving acceptance and the fight against discrimination faced by the transgender community.

“The focus here is on educating the participants and audience members on the term ‘transgender’ as an umbrella term for a wide range of identities and experiences of our people that include not only post-operative but pre-operative and non-operative transsexual men and women, as well as their experiences and lifestyle difficulties,” said Sameeksha, a member of the Ashraya Samudhaya Sangahatane and organiser of the event.

Amongst other dignitaries present at the event were Kota Srinivas Poojary- Member of the Karnataka Legislative Council, Lalaji R Mendon- MLA of Kaup, prominent businessman Suresh Shetty Gurm, Mohammed Saifulla- President of Raksha Organisation Shivamogga, Chandhini- Head of Payana Organisation Bangalore, and Geethanjali Suvarna- Panchayath Member Udupi.


Featured Image Courtesy: Prayaag Sengupta

Edited by: Josephine Justin