‘SAndakkaris’ for trans rights

l    Sandakkari is a play about the fundamental rights of transpersons 
l    A satire about their livelihood, the play is based on their struggles 

Published: 09th April 2018 10:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2018 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI : Sandakkaari, a play on fundamental rights of transgender persons, is ready to take the audience on a journey through the lives of Prithika Yasini, Tharika Banu and other transwomen in the city, who have realised their career dreams against all odds.The play is the brainchild of Kattiyakkaari, a city-based theatre group, and Trans Rights Now Collective and a non profit organisation that works towards ensuring education and creating employment for transgender persons.

The name Sandakkaari — a woman who often fights— was inspired by the words of a city police officer, claims Srijith Sundaram, the director, and founder of Kattiyakkari. The etymology is from a protest a few years back, staged outside the Secretariat, in which Grace Banu (founder of the collective) and other transgender-rights activists urged the government to provide them housing.

Clad in a white sari and blue blouse, Grace Banu was raising slogans asking for basic amenities. “Suddenly a police officer nearby remarked, ‘Vanthuta intha Sandakaari.’ The name-brand stuck with me,” he says. “These were people fighting for basic rights and dignity, and they were branded as quarrelsome.”
Sandakkaari is a satirical play that revolves around the struggle of Tamil Nadu-based transwomen, who used the powers of judiciary, to find life and livelihood in mainstream society. “The play is not about showcasing exemplary role models for transgender persons, but about showing how to fight obstacles to access education and employment,” says Avipsha Das, associate director of the play.

It touches upon several court judgements that impact the lives and rights of transgender persons. “Beginning from the NALSA judgement, Transgender bill, Prithika Yasini’s judgement to many others, we have files of content that show us what we’re eligible for. It’s time we put that information out for young, uncertain transgender persons to know how to fight their way through,” says Grace Banu, who is also acting in the play.

The docu-fiction entails handpicked instances from the lives of the actors themselves. Contrary to several plays on transgender rights that focuses on abuse, this play will highlight the road map to access basic rights. The music is set to rhythm from Parai instruments, which the actors have learned to perform. 
The performance marks the beginning of ‘trans-season’ in Chennai that will go on till the month of May. Other actors include Negha, Sowmiya, Tharika Banu, Renuka and Kayalvizhi.

Stay up to date on all the latest Lifestyle news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp