Guwahati, Thursday, September 17, 2020
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‘Tritiyo Nivas’ a ray of hope for transgender people in city
MANASH PRATIM DUTTA
 GUWAHATI, Sept 16 - In Assam, the transgender people have always been remained socially alienated due to various reasons. Especially, during the lockdown, the transgenders have faced immense hardship in managing their livelihood.

 In such a critical time as a ray of hope, a section of transgender people is preparing themselves to start a new life at ‘Tritiyo Nivas’, a shelter home cum skill development centre for the third gender people.

The shelter home cum skill development centre, located in the Hatigaon area of the city, is a joint initiative of the North East Voluntary Association of Rural Development and the All Assam Transgender Association. The centre is run under the aegis of the Social Welfare department.

It is the first such centre established in the State in January last year and is providing free food and shelter along with skill training to its inmates. But due to financial issue, the initiative remained almost inactive for one year. Later, with the formation of the Transgender Welfare Board by the Social Welfare department, the home has got a new lease of life.

Talking about the initiative, Niharika Bora, who works as a counsellor at the shelter home cum skill development centre, said, “At present, we have around 50 inmates and we aim to make them self-reliant through some skill training. But it is not an easy job as transgender people face discrimination in every step of life. Many of them don’t want to take such skill training as they lack the confidence to become self-reliant.”

At present, inmates of the home are getting training on stitching and beauty care so that after completion of the training they could get themselves engage in some private entities or start their business ventures.

“To arrange jobs for the inmates of the home, talks have been underway with various companies and business groups of Assam. Moreover, if anyone wants to start her own business, then we will also provide all kinds of possible help through the Social Welfare department,” said Swati Bidhan Barua, the Associate Vice-Chairperson of the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board and a transgender activist.

According to Barua, the main aim of the initiative is to disengage the transgender people from begging and to give them a better life. “Another important aim of the initiative is to help the inmates get in touch with their families. It is a pilot project and based on its success, more such centres will be established in different parts of the State,” Barua said.

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