COIMBATORE: When the Covid-19 lockdown robbed this group of 10 transwomen in Coimbatore of their livelihood, they decided it was time to start their own business and become self-reliant.
The dum biriyani specialists used the lockdown period to expand their skillset, and on Wednesday, with support from NABARD and others, launched the Covai Trans Kitchen in RS Puram.
"We made a living from cooking biriyani at weddings. The pandemic claimed our work,” said Sangeetha, president of the Coimbatore District Transgenders Welfare Association.
“During the lockdown, we survived on the assistance and rations provided by the State government,” she said, adding that a few donors chipped in with support. But, it was only with their own business that they could become self-reliant and be assured of consistent revenues, they decided.
With NABARD, a few non-profits and religious groups willing to financially support their plan, they decided it was time to expand their range as well.
According to 50-year-old Lakshmi, a 20-day training programme, offered for free by a city college earlier this year, helped them tackle new recipes.
“We know the pulse of Coimbatoreans: they love our biriyani. But now we can also offer cookies, pastries, North Indian and Chinese dishes alongside our signature biriyani,” Lakshmi said.
The restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, the group working in shifts.
A daily profit of Rs 2,000 a day is their target. If all goes well, they hope to open another branch in the city soon.