Collective heeds call of anonymous voices

Collective heeds call of anonymous voices - the sex workers & transgenders

Bags containing essentials being delivered at Subramanya Constructions, near K R S Road, Mysuru.

Five friends in Mysuru raised funds from well-wishers, friends and acquaintances to provide help to sex workers, transgenders and those suffering from HIV-AIDS in these times of distress.

They have reached out to a large number of migrant families that lack ration cards in Mysuru.

The group comprises Mythri Prabhakar, a writer, Shruthi, a startup owner, Azhar, a techie, Shomika, an event planner and Keertana, an
engineer.

While Mythri drafted content requesting funds and circulated it on social media tools, Shruthi ensured that logistics were in place for the delivery of the kits. Shomika got in touch with suppliers and kept the list of essentials ready. Azhar and Keerthana coordinated and monitored progress of the plan.

They created a WhatsApp group on March 23 and delivered the kits on April 4, 18 and 26 to 963 migrant families and 257 sex workers and transgender people. Each kit had materials meeting requirements of a family of four persons for about three weeks.

Out of the Rs 8,10,700 that was collected, they have spent Rs 6,72,700.

What prompted them to raise funds was hunger, loss of jobs and financial distress among migrants, sex workers and transgender people.

Most of the transgender people are into begging. The social stigma attached to them has made it difficult for them to manage families.

Ashodaya Samithi, an organisation working for the welfare of sex workers and transgender people, contacted the friends.

Since it was difficult for them to appear in public and receive the kits, representatives from these two communities were identified for the collection of the kits. Specific locations were chosen to deliver the kits.

The sex workers’ collective in the UK too decided to lend a helping hand. However, there are restrictions to receive funds from foreign countries. As the friends are against forming a non-government organisation, they decided to connect the collective with the Samithi for relief.

The Samithi alone has over 3,000 female sex workers, 1,100 male sex workers and 200 transgender people registered with hit.

Anand Jyothi, an association for the rehabilitation of HIV-AIDS patients, has also sought the kits.

“We are working out ways to supply the kits to Anand Jyothi,” Mythri said.