Its not everyday that an overwhelming realisation engulfs one from all sides and makes one reflect on the deep possibilities that human beings have been endowed with especially when it comes to translating one’s own pain into unconditional effort for the wellbeing of others. The tremendous treasures of love, compassion and sensitivity that human beings have been endowed with seem to have become a clouded domain that seems to have now hidden behind the stubborn rust of exploitation, violence and insensitivity that tends to be reflected in the news on a day day basis.
Human brutality and violence, insensitivity and indifference seem to have erected huge walls of separation between people and intensified their differences while making them non-compassionate, non-considerate and aloof to the plight of others.
But it is on days like these that stories like that of a trans woman like Gauri Sawant illuminate the dark dens of the heart and invoke the possibilities that sparkle bright despite the overwhelming gloom around and make us rethink our times with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.
Gauri Sawant is an ordinary trans woman with an extraordinary zeal and a commitment that sets her apart from all, because she had the courage and the commitment to translate her own pain into possibility and ignite the flame despite the overpowering darkness that she had to see in her life.
For the readers, who may be getting a little inquisitive about Gauri Sawant’s story and her struggle, let me put some light on it and try to present before you, a glimpse of her wonderful contribution to the society.
Who really is Gauri Sawant: An Ordinary trans woman with extraordinary potential
Guari Sawant is a trans woman born and brought up in Maharashtra’s Pune. She was born as a male child and was then known as Ganesh Sawant. A turning point in her life came when her mother passed away quite unexpectedly when she was all of nine years old and it was after her mother’s untimely demise that she discovered that she felt uncomfortable and unhappy inside a male body and that she couldn’t continue living the life that others were expecting from her as someone born as a male.
While growing up, Gauri remembers being mocked by children in the neighbourhood for her affiliate style and demeanour and also experiencing extreme bullying and ridicule even by adults around her. While her growing up years weren’t the most comfortable and were in fact replete with incidences that were enough to shatter a person’s morale and confidence, such was not the case with Gauri Sawant.
She was adamant to reclaim her true sexuality and come out openly in the public domain to put forward who she really was.
Today, she is a well know and widely respected activist and the founder of the Sakhi Char Chaughi Trust, this organisation was formed in 2000 and works in the domain of counselling transgender persons and educating them on sexuality, their rights and ways of giving them meaningful and life-affirming skills and capabilities through a series of programs.
Gauri Sawant: India’s first trans woman to file a petition for adoption rights of transgender persons
2014 was a special year for Gauri Sawant and millions of transgender people across the country because it was in this year that Gauri Sawant became the first trans woman in India to file a petition in the Supreme Court for adoption rights for transgender people.
Gauri Sawant had adopted a 5-year old girl in 2008, who lost her biological mother due to AIDS.
Gauri’s compassionate heart truly beats for all those who are in pain and owing to their distinctive sexualities and disadvantaged social position are unable to lead a life dignity and wellbeing.
Perhaps that is why when this little girl( the child of a sex worker who had recently passed away) was being forcefully taken to Kolkata’s biggest red light area of Sonagachi, she decided to stop this brutal and condemnable act and adopt her and give her a life of love and happiness. Today, Gauri Sawant is a single mother to her and the girl is growing up in the shade of her extreme love and warmth. Gayatri found a mother who she can look up to, be extremely proud of.
Gauri Sawant has been a true warrior in every sense of the word and has transformed every obstacle into an opportunity for change.
It is not surprising that Gauri Sawant has now come up with another very important social project to help and empower the transgender community.
Gauri Sawant’s new project: An old age home for transgender persons
Gauri Sawant’s latest social venture is an old age home especially meant for transgender persons who are old and without familial support and this old age home is named as ‘ Aaji cha Ghar’ roughly translated as “Maternal grandmother’s house’ which is traditionally associated with fond childhood memories of love and affection for most Indian children.
The older generation of transgender persons living in this old age home are planned to be given the responsibility of taking care of the children of sex workers.
Gauri’s journey from being a transgender woman to becoming a renowned social activist is inspirational and pathbreaking. The idea behind opening this old age home for transgender persons is to make sure that they have a dignified home where they not only get a shelter but also a renewed sense of purpose by looking after, teaching and training the children of sex workers. The main aim of the old age home is to look after the elderly among the transgender community as well as to nurture the children amid good values and morals.
In such a milieu, the destitute old transgender people can live a life of dignity and assurance and the children of sex workers can get the love and nurturance that society would have denied them otherwise, this gives their lives a renewed sense of meaning.
Gauri’s story paves the path for how society as a whole should be, how each one of us must translate our own pains towards building something creative and life-affirming for others like us, for making their lives a little more meaningful and comfortable.
While her old age home project is still looking for suitable funders and contributors, she proves before us that human beings are another name for possibility and that if each one of us work hard enough, we can leave behind a far better world than the one we were born into.