Women's Day: Transgender activist to build a home for children of sex worker
Mumbai-based transgender activist Gauri Sawant, working to collect funds to build 'Naani ka Ghar' in Palghar to ensure a better and safer future for the young ones of sex workers, vows to never give up on the project
Gauri Sawant oversees work on the house at the Palghar plot
This Women's Day we speak to Gauri Sawant, 37, was not born a woman, but she chose to become one. Born as Ganesh in Pune, the trans-woman, today a single mother to adopted daughter Gayatri, has been working relentlessly for the last one year to give shape and form to her lifelong dream of creating a safe haven for children of sex workers by raising funds and building a home, so that they can live a dignified life.
For this project, aptly called 'Naani ka Ghar', she has so far been able to raise Rs 35 lakh, of the Rs 62 lakh needed, through an online fundraiser on Milaap. This includes Sawant's generous contribution of the entire amount she won on the quiz show KBC — Rs 17 lakh. Sawant believes she can ensure a secure future and better opportunities for daughters of sex workers by giving them love, affection, safety, health care and education.
Ghar in Palghar
Speaking on the project, she said, "The plot is in Palghar's Kamare village, donated to us by a supporter who had great faith in the initiative. The head office will be in Virar East; we also have a field office in Bhayander.
"Naani ka Ghar aims to give our girls a safe home, away from the flesh trade that they are constantly threatened with being dragged into. We will provide them with the bare necessities they lack. Other than love, care and safety, we wish to give them a life with better opportunities through at least basic education. We will also be giving them basic medical and legal aid."
The road ahead
But is Rs 62 lakh enough to realise her lifelong dream? "We hope the amount is enough to set the home up," she told mid-day. When asked if she would ever give up on this project due to lack of funding, Sawant cried, "Of course not! Naani ka Ghar is my dream. I have given it everything I have, and I am moved by the support I have received so far. I will keep trying to find new ways to build this house, but I won't give up on it.
"Now that over 55 per cent of the funds have been collected, I am sure that if we try relentlessly, it won't be long before Naani ka Ghar comes up."
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