A 'transformatory' act

A 'transformatory' act

Students initiative

A 'transformatory' act

For today’s youth, responsibility does not end at finding good colleges and jobs for themselves. They are conscientious enough to know that they have a duty towards those less fortunate than them. Need an example?

Meet a group of students in Ramjas College who are helping transgenders in Delhi earn a living by making artificial jewellery.

These students are a part of the international NGO Enactus which promotes social entrepreneurship among students, and this is by far the most successful project implemented by the Ramjas team. Begun around a year back, today, the products manufactured by these transgenders are sold in the leading stores of Delhi under the label Transcreations.

Mehak Mittal, president of the Enactus team, informs Metrolife, “We were looking for disadvantaged groups in Delhi to work with when we came upon the transgender community. They are a highly stereotyped and often harassed group in our country who are generally sex workers. So, we thought why not introduce them to some alternative employment skills?”

“Therefore, we got in touch with Naz Foundation – an NGO working with transgenders – and asked them what alternative work they would like to do. Most of them said jewellery making and that was it. We decided to help them make and market jewellery and earn enough by the day so as to abandon their original vocation.”

The students soon arranged for a trainer in jewellery designing and even paid her from their own pocket. Sessions were held twice a week and interested Naz foundation members were taught to make earrings, necklaces, bangles etc. The students even took them to Chandni Chowk to buy raw material and taught them book-keeping to keep a track of money spent and earned.

Today, the group is so well trained that they are running this business on their own – without a trainer or anyone to do accounts for them.

As for marketing and selling, the students first put up the products on various college festivals, Facebook and a website. As they became popular, the young entrepreneurs tied up with online shopping portals as well as popular stores. Today, Transcreations products are available at Archies, Giggles, Kuzart Lane and many other such fancy shops in Delhi-NCR.

Ansha Bansal, another member of the team, expressed, “Initially, we found it difficult to gain their confidence. The transgenders are a very closed community and apprehensive of even those who approach them with good intentions. But as they realised that we had no ulterior motives, they embraced the programme.”

As for Naz, a member, Prince informed, “When these kids first came to us, we thought it is just another ‘social project’ which will be dropped midway, but am glad to tell you today that they have been very supportive and persevering.”

“Today, we are so good at this that we are even teaching others in the community. It is not enough to run a household by, but at least it is motivation for us stop pursuing unlawful and dangerous work. It is a small but significant ray of hope, all thanks to these noble kids.”

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