BERHAMPUR: Unique is the content of Anwesha Brahma’s documentary ‘The Transition’. In a society where the topic of transgenders is still considered a taboo, Anwesha ventures into an unchartered territory with a hope to shatter the glass ceiling.The documentary speaks of the change in status of transgenders after the Supreme Court recognised them as the ‘third gender’, says Anwesha, who hails from the Silk City. The film deals with hopes and aspiration of the third gender in Ganjam district, which is a home to 600 transgenders.
In 2014, the apex court had observed that transgenders must be provided equal opportunity to grow. The court had also directed all governments to resolve problems such as fear, shame and social stigma faced by the transgenders. Though this landmark ruling gave the third gender social recognition, they are still treated as untouchables by many. The transgenders are yet to avail the benefits meant for them due to the prevailing discriminatory approach of the society. The documentary narrates inspiring stories of some transgenders who have carved a niche for themselves in the society by defying stereotypes and braving all odds, says Anwesha.
The story of Manoj alias Mani is an example of how transgenders have broken free from the shackles of repression. Earlier, transgenders used to lead an ostracised life due to discrimination in the society as well their own families. However, some of them have started exploring their capabilities and become self-dependant. This has inspired other transgenders, said Manoj, who works in an NGO and is devoted to developmental works in rural areas. “Now, I am able to assist my family and needy people with my earnings,” says Manoj.
Similarly, Niroj alias Pinki owns beauty parlours at Patia in Bhubaneswar and Ganjam town. “The income from the two parlours is enough to provide employment to many besides feeding my family,” claims Pinki.
Rabindra alias Rubina, who used to dance for livelihood, is into goat farming now. “I earn enough money to feed my eight-member family,” says Rubina.
The documentary portrays the bright side of the lives of transgenders. The film also aims to discard the belief that being a transgender is all about begging and prostitution, says Anwesha, who has completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from New Delhi. Last year, she did a documentary ‘Curse or Apathy-The Healthcare Economics of Kalahandi District’ which earned accolades from several quarters. ‘The Transition’ is slated to be released in March. Its trailer is available in YouTube.