Sensitization meeting for parents including parents of transgender children and other parents in February, 2017:
The activity was aimed at ‘parents’ of children who identify as transgender women in February.We brought a set of 20 parents from two groups: one group is parents of of children who are trans female-identifying and the other is: other parents. One father of a transgirl child and a mother of a transgirl child spoke their testimonies of how they have come to accept one’s child in their own identity as a Transwoman/transgirl. Each of them highlighted their fears of facing society being a parent of a transgender child, aside from how their ideas for the child shattering before their eyes once they learned without doubt that their child is trans. They also spoke of their eventually acceptance of their child and now provide support to their daughter after their own inner struggles and now visit their transdaughter and the daughter visits them at the family residence on occasions.
Sensitization Meeting for Youngsters & Students held in March, 2017:
This activity was convened for youngsters and students from Chennai in March, 2017.We brought 20 students and youngsters from Chennai to a venue and spoke to them and answered their questions. We spoke to the youngsters about some of the issues faced by Transwomen within the time we had during the meeting. They expressed keen interest in the topic and learned a lot and asked questions and gave suggestions. Some of them expressed their intention to work with the transgender community in uplifting them, particularly in helping them to walk away from begging and sex work as their primary or only sources of income and to help them to find other sources of income by giving them possible training and other necessary tools t achieve success in their newly chosen fields of income making/career.
Sensitization Meeting for Teachers held in June 2017:
This activity was held in June 2017 and was offered to teachers of a government school in Chennai.We spoke to 15 teachers from the government school in Chennai for this activity. We spoke to the teachers about the possible issues faced by students who are gender-non-conforming. This meeting was successful because some of the teachers expressed their intention to ensure that students who don’t conform to gender norms are not harassed/troubled on campus and just outside the campus and are able to study well without emotional/physical stress for fear of being ostracized by teachers and other students. Some of them also shared that there should be a reservation quota for such students. They also said that the mainstream education content should have information about trans people in possible science and other relevant books. They primarily expressed that they have seen trans-oriented students but were unable to fully understand their behavior/issues and concerns and now after the sensitization program they will be able to better identify them and ensure that they are appropriately helped.
A teacher by name K. Padma shared her commitment in the activity we convened for teachers that she would take the resolve to ensure that any student who is possibly a transchild is able to have a smooth and easy studying experience and also counsel any students and their parents about how to overcome issues faced by them for being transgender or parents of a transgender child and to ensure that the student does not drop out, taking care to monitor such students with greater understanding and compassion.
Sensitization program at Media Personals in September, 2017:
This activity was conducted form people working in the media in September, 2017. We brought 15 people working in various arms of the various sections of the wide spectrum we call media. We spoke about the various issues faced by transgender women. We spoke about Thozhi and its activities, goals and objectives and some of the achievements. We answered many of their questions about the various things that they brought up concerning Transwomen. We primarily expressed that fact that the Transgender Welfare Board is not in operation and we sought the help of the people there to help in opening the Board again.
Working for Housing scheme and other schemes from the government:
We worked with the government officials in identifying 280 transgender women during the last few months. The government has finalized this list of 280 people as the potential recipients of free housing to be offered by the government within the Chennai Collectorate. The actual handover of keys to the recipients of the homes is expected to occur in the next few months. We also helped obtain transgender identity card to 125 transwomen, 55 transwomen to fill the housing applications, 25 transwomen to get the AADHAAR card, 8 transwomen to get ration cards, 15 transgender women to get their name changed, 10 transgender women to get voter id cards.
Organizing second line leaders:
Second line leaders must be developed as a part of our sustenance and growth strategy for widening our services on an ongoing basis and to continually provide beneficial services to the transgender community. THOZHI's first line of leaders felt the need to empower a second line of leaders to take on leadership roles under necessitating circumstances. Hence we identified and gave appropriate training to 15 selected transwomen and developed them into capable leaders who can take on challenges as needs arise. This program was conducted under the Ambassador Training Programme offered by MSA-DIVA-VHS.