Alumni groups support transwomen's food cart initiative

Thirunallar MLA PR Siva inaugurated the 'SP Seafood and Fries' eatery near the Old Bus Stand on Bharathiyar Road on Sunday.
Pragathi Priya and other transwomen preparing items for customers at their food cart
Pragathi Priya and other transwomen preparing items for customers at their food cartPhoto | Express

KARAIKAL: In a groundbreaking initiative, college alumni nonprofits and donors have helped a group of transwomen start a food cart in Karaikal to improve their livelihoods and lead a respectable life.

Thirunallar MLA PR Siva inaugurated the 'SP Seafood and Fries' eatery near the Old Bus Stand on Bharathiyar Road on Sunday.

Transwomen from Keeraithotam – Pragathi Priya (33), Mayuri (29), Sana (28), Ranjana (23), and Lakshana (20) – sought support from NSS coordinators of Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology (PKIET) to start a business.

The alumni organisation 'Le Banyan de PEC' from Pondicherry Engineering College (PEC) contributed 11 lakh to buy the cart. 'Joy of Giving - Karaikal,' an alumni group from PKIET, donated Rs 10,000 for equipment and ingredients. PKIET's NSS coordinators M Praveen Kumar and K Gnanamurugan, who facilitated the support, were present at the inauguration.

Pragathi Priya, a BTech graduate and a MSW student who leads the transwomen group said, "Transwomen like us are stereotyped that we are meant for seeking alms and offering sex work. We wanted to break it, our income modestly and live a respectable life." 

Pragathi Priya requested the public to encourage their venture.

NSS coordinator M Praveen Kumar said, "Our alumni organization 'Joy of Giving Karaikal' has been contributing to various social works and causes for past few years". 

K Gnanamurugan added that the NSS students in the current batch are also supporting the causes by volunteering.

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