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Assam gets first transgender-run tea stall for livelihood with dignity

The stall named as 'Trans Tea Stall' was started under the initiative of All Assam Transgender Association
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 17:16 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 17:16 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 17:16 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 17:16 IST

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A tea stall run by transgenders, the first such venture in Assam was inaugurated on Monday in the compound of deputy commissioner’s office in Kamrup district, thereby offering a hope of livelihoods with dignity to the state’s transgender community.

The stall named 'Trans Tea Stall' was started under the initiative of All Assam Transgender Association, a forum of transgender communities in the state, who still await a livelihood support scheme for their empowerment.

“This is a small beginning for empowerment of the transgender community. We want to provide livelihood support to transgenders who often face discrimination and harassment while looking for options to earn their livelihoods,” founder of the association, Swati Bidhan Baruah told DH on Monday.

The stall is run by two transgender members of the association with the support of two helpers. “Initially, customers will get tea, snacks and some other packaged food items. They will add more such items based on response of the customers. We hope to get good response as the DC office witnesses a lot of footfall daily,” Baruah, also a lawyer, said.

“As there is no scheme for livelihood support to the transgenders in Assam, we had written to all deputy commissioners seeking support for opening tea stalls to be run the transgenders. Kamrup district deputy commissioner, Kailash Karthik N. responded to our request and agreed to provide us the space,” Baruah said adding that they are planning to open similar tea stalls in Kamrup Metro, Nalbari, Darrang and Barpeta districts. “In the next phase, we will approach the district courts for allowing us to open similar tea stalls in their office campuses,” Baruah said.

“Such venture will not only provide an opportunity to the transgender community a source of earning and live with dignity but will send a strong message to the society,” Baruah said.

Baruah said that according to recent survey, Assam has over 26,000 transgender people but they have been facing a lot of difficulties in earning their livelihoods due to lack of a scheme for their economic empowerment. “Many people laugh at the transgender people begging at bus stops, trains and other public places but nobody talks about providing them an opportunity to earn with dignity. We hope such tea stalls will go a long way in that direction,” Baruah said.

There are similar tea stalls run by transgenders in Mumbai, Delhi and some other cities but this is the first such venture in Assam, she said.

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Published 18 April 2022, 17:15 IST

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