12 months, achievers

The calendar aims to empower members of the trans community

Published: 02nd January 2018 10:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2018 07:18 AM   |  A+A-

Photos: Abinaya Kalyanasundaram

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A new year calls for a new calendar, and among the various themed and concept calendars available this year, we found one particular desk calendar that stands out for its authentic sincerity. As a radical departure from the mainstream notions of beauty and success, the Trans Calendar features different achievers from the Trans Communities in Tamil Nadu and beyond for every month.

Released on December 29, 2017, by Born2win (B2W), a social welfare trust that works for the empowerment of the transgender community, the calendar features recipients of last year’s Born2win Trans Achievers Awards, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. “The idea is to spread transgender equality as well as publicise the achievements of members of the community,” explains Swetha Sudhakar, founder-director of Born2Win.

The calendar dedicates each month to a specific trans achiever under various titles. Each month also has a
monthly planner on its side. Some of the winners featured include — Mother of the Year (V Archana, awarded in recognition of her role as a mother to her adopted child, Blessy); International Trans Activist of the Year (Thanuja Balasingam, who’s done commendable advocating for Trans issues in Germany & Canada); Lifetime Achievement Award (Dr Akkai Padmashali, for a lifetime dedicated towards the uplift and empowerment of the tans community in India.

She is also the first trans person in the country to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Karanataka Government conferred upon her the Karnataka Rajyostava award, which is the second highest civilian honour of that state in 2015 — she is the only trans person to have received such an honour in India.)
“Working as an activist & consultant in the field of Transgender health, rights & advocacy with various NGOs, it has been a difficult but necessary journey,” says K Manu, managing trustee of Vanavil Foundation, who also thanked Born2Win for the opportunity.

This year’s calendar also includes two of Born2win protégée’s themselves, as ‘Rising Star of the Year’ — Andriya Sen and E Kavi, in recognition of the immense potential for the future. They both completed their education as fashion designers and aim to set up their own label and boutique.

“I was always fascinated to study fashion, and with the help of Swetha I was able to pursue it and now I am able to take small orders from home for fashion design,” she shares adding that she feels very pleased to be a part of the calendar.

STEP is Born2Win’s flagship initiative to enable trans persons to empower themselves to lead a life where they are able to take charge of their own destiny.

For a good cause

B2W has published four calendars so far, in 2014-2017, and the proceeds are donated to a different cause each year. In 2014, funds were used for education of HIV+ children at SIP Memorial Trust; in 2015, treatment of cancer-affected children at Cancer Institute, Adyar; in 2016 & 2017, to support the education & vocational training of trans women & men. Proceeds from this year will be used to support skill development initiatives to enhance employability for trans identified persons 

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