MADIKERI: After her endless struggle to find a shelter for herself, a transwoman in Madikeri has written to the district administration seeking permission to undergo euthanasia (mercy killing). Rihana Irfan from Kerala says her repeated pleas to authorities to provide her a house have fallen on deaf dears.
Rihana moved to Madikeri over a decade ago. She had to quit her degree course in a government college midway, as she was harassed by other students. “I was being harassed for being a transwoman and I chose to quit my studies. I joined a transgender community in Mysuru and later underwent surgery. I was shuttling between Mysuru and Bengaluru, but decided to move back to Madikeri,” she says.
“After a long search, I managed to find a house on rent, but neighbours pressured the landlord and got me evicted,” she rues. She then received help from a flood victim in Madikeri, who agreed to give her shelter in a house damaged in landslide. “The family was sanctioned a house under flood relief work and they asked me to stay at their old house. However, the house is now in a dilapidated condition,” she says.
Rihana applied for a house under a government housing scheme, but to no avail.
Can’t find a job: Transwoman
Rihana said that her numerous visits and applications to the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Madikeri have been ignored. She has been staying at a lodge for a month now - paying Rs 400 per day. “On Tuesday, as a last resort, I went to meet the DC with an application to grant me permission to undergo mercy killing. I want to live, but how am I to survive?” she said. Rihana said there are only four transwomen in the district and they depend on alms for livelihood. “Having a job is my dream. But we are unable to find any. The least the administration can do is grant me a house,” she said.