Entrepreneurship event in Mumbai for transgender community

Mumbai: With an aim to make transgender community self-dependent, a national-level 'Trans Empowerment Mela' will be organised in suburban Borivali here allowing over 500 community members to showcase their entrepreneurial ideas.

The Mela, to be held on Tuesday, is being organised by Anam Prem, an NGO, with the objective of "making the transgender community self-dependent through dignified modes of income generation".

"This mela gives a platform to the hundreds of transgenders across the country and will make everyone aware of their entrepreneurial potential. It would also remove the long-held (negative) societal perceptions about the community," said Manisha Parab, a volunteer from the group.

This is a first-of-its-kind initiative, she added. Transgenders from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Meghalaya, Kolhapur, Konkan, Amravati and Mumbai will participate in this mela which would offer varied food items, handicraft items, sarees etc.

There would also be performances by India's first  transgender dance group, 'Dancing Queens', and the country's first transgender music band 'Six Pack Band', among others.

'Trans Empowerment Mela 2016' is a part of Anam Prem's 'Joy for All' initiative which took shape in 2005.

"This initiative seeks to reach out to the 'hijras', through the concept of 'Family Meet initiative' where host families and hijras share their personal spaces, work on breaking barriers of stereotypical perceptions, taboos of
stigma and discrimination," said Krupali Bidaye, another senior associate of the group.

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