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Monday 26 June 2017
News updated at 9:03 AM IST

Transgender artist paints her struggles

Suridhi Sharma, Sep 08, 2016, DHNS 0:29 IST

Art fundraiser

One of the most important aspects of a transgender child’s life is family, believes transgender rights activist Kalki Subramaniam. “As a transgender child I had difficult times, yet my family did not reject me,” she tells Metrolife.

An activist, artist, author, actor, inspirational speaker and an entrepreneur, she is the founder of Sahodari Foundation which works for the social, economic and political empowerment of transgender persons in India.

Kalki holds two master’s degrees — Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and Masters in International Relations and is using her skills and social media for community development. Through her efforts she has also garnered international recognition.

While she emphasises the support she got as a child from her family, she also recognises that many are not as lucky as she is. It is this recognition that led her to take up the initiative to raise money through crowdfunding for underprivileged transgenders. She is showcasing her exclusive collection of paintings on FuelAdream.com to raise Rs two lakh.

Her watercolour and acrylic paintings trace the many struggles faced by transgenders. Her paintings reflect “the anguish, pain, happiness”, the identity and the views of people towards them as well as the needs of the transgenders who are often abandoned by families.

Kalki uses a lot of colours in order to project intensity and depth in her paintings. She primarily aims at representing different perspectives as well as the discrimination faced by the transgender community in society. Sixty per cent of the funds raised will go to the betterment of the following four transgenders who need financial help.

Like Lalitha Anburaj from Tuticorin is a transgender who comes from a poor economic background is now pursuing a nursing course. Her late father was visually impaired and left them with no savings; Mythreyi from Madurai was a victim of sex trafficking and had to quit her education. She was rescued from trafficking and now wants to complete her schooling and pursue higher studies; Kotravai Natchiar from Madurai was rescued along with Mythreyi from sex trafficking. She has completed her 12th class and wishes to pursue law; and Anu from Mangalore is a graduate who was rejected by her family because of her gender. She does not want to succumb to begging and sex work. She needs financial support to complete her master’s degree and make a career.

Kalki says, “Art is something that transports us into different realities and inspires people. Through my art, I want to bring about a change in the lives of transgenders. I believe that only education can bring about this change and make a difference.”

“ My collection on aims at raising funds for four transgenders- who come from extremely poor backgrounds and some of them have been rescued from sex trafficking,” she adds.
Kalki also runs a Facebook page calledJobs for Trans and helps transgenders to connect with future employers.

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