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A woman employee at work as Priya Babu (third from right) and Bharathi Kannamma (fourth from right) look on, in the presence of other women employees, in a tailoring unit at Nagamalaipudukottai, in Madurai. Photo: R. Ashok
Transgenders show the way to integration

in INDIA, 13/09/2013

Moving from the margins to the mainstream, Priya Babu and Bharathi Kannamma are ready to fashion a new life for themselves. Both transgenders, they have launched a tailoring unit in Nagamalai Pudukottai on Madurai’s outskirts, not only to help themselves make the cut in life but also to provide jobs to other women in the locality.

“We have taken orders to stitch undergarments for men and women. Women tailors who were stitching at their homes were identified with the help of the All India Democratic Women’s Association. Based on the output, we are planning to expand the business,” Ms. Kannamma said.

The entrepreneurs also have plans for a training unit exclusively for transgenders. “We are planning to set up at least five tailoring units in Madurai in the near future,” Ms. Kannamma said. “The women were hesitant to work with us initially,” Ms. Babu said. “But after we took them following an exposure to a tailoring unit in Vadamadurai, they have become extremely supportive and encouraging.”

AIDWA members said they had to organise a few sessions to win the confidence of women in the locality.

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