Transgenders to Attempt 60-Hour Cultural Record - The New Indian Express

Transgenders to Attempt 60-Hour Cultural Record

Published: 20th March 2014 07:27 AM

Last Updated: 20th March 2014 07:30 AM

Guess who is gearing up to entertain Chennai for three days of non-stop cultural extravaganza? It’s the city’s transgenders, who, for the first time in Indian history, have gathered together to set a record. They are planning to exhibit their cultural talent for 60 hours straight.

Starting from March 21, this programme, organised by Tamil Nadu Aids Initiative (TAI) project of Voluntary Health Service (VHS), will go on till Sunday evening with back to back performances from the transgender community. Nearly 400 transgenders will be involved in the whole festival with 200 artistes from across the State in events like music, dance, debates, fashion shows.

To emphasis the importance of traditional art forms, the programme will bring in artistes of various traditional folk dance forms like karakattam and thappatam, from the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Those from States like Odisha and Maharashtra will perform their traditional dance forms. Artistes from the silver screen like Sachu, Prithviraj, singer L R Easwari, Pandiaraj, Shakila and Aarthi Ganesh will be present on the occasion. Ancient art forms like Raja Rani Aatam, Veerapandiya Kattapomban Kadhaigal, Koothu, Aravaan Kalabali and Mookayi Kadhaigal among others will also be performed during the three-day event.

“All these art forms are slowly dying. We are bringing back these forms through transgenders who still practise them in their villages for their day to day livelihood,” said Sudha, programme officer, TAI-VHS, during the press meet on Wednesday to announce the event.

According to the VHS officer, this event will improve the transgender people’s self esteem by encouraging other transgenders who are still in the dark to come forward and fight for their rights.

“One cannot imagine the talent that these people posses. This platform will bring national recognition to them, helping them secure employment opportunities in future. People mostly associate transgenders with sex trade and beggary but this event will definitely change people’s perspective,” said Vijayaram, deputy officer, TAI-VHS.

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