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Hey foundation shares the experience of an event organized for the LGBTQIA Community

Mypencildotcom: When did you decide to work for them and what is your main motive behind it?

Lavanya: Once I was doing a donation drive for menstrual hygiene for the women in the slum area. During that time, I came to know about Antara, she is a trans woman. She helped me to mobilize all the women in the slums and helped them make them understand menstrual hygiene. That was the turning point in my life and I came to know that these people don’t have any gender barriers in their minds. So, that was the turning point that led to the establishment of Rainbow Pride of India.

Mypencildotcom: How do you think that these transgender and other people of these communities face difficulties and are neglected?

Lavanya: The basic problem starts with the mindset itself. Society is not ready to accept and we have the mindset that it’s a medical issue and there are no such things as any third gender. If people change their mindset, then only we can bring a change in society.

Mypencildotcom: What is the major goal which is focused on by Hey foundation?

Lavanya: The basic agenda of the foundation would be to bring a change in the education system. During our school days, we were divided into two genders and we never thought about any other third gender. So, I want to bring a change for them and I wanted them to get recognition in society.

Mypencildotcom: Don’t you think the system of NCERT should be changed?

Lavanya: Yes, even after the abrogation of section 377, it is only on the paper. Implementation is yet to be done. There is a need to bring a change in the mindset of the people and it’s only possible when we will educate the people about it. So, I think NCERT could bring a great change in society.

Mypencildotcom: Apart from this, what are the other things that Hey foundation is trying to focus on and bring a change in society?

Lavanya: Hey foundation is trying to marginalize them in society by creating job opportunities because they have an illiteracy rate and poverty level. People are not ready to provide them jobs so we are trying to approach corporate sectors. Instead of going begging or doing a job as a prostitute, this will at least provide them a platform to earn their living. Their lifestyle would also get changed. Also, we are trying to educate them but it’s not easy because people are not ready to accept them, they bully them because of which they even tend to commit suicide. I believe that mentality should get changed.

Mypencildotcom: Since many great personalities have come out to support them, do you think it will bring any change in society?

Lavanya: That is a great initiative and bringing this subject is a very big thing. Our foundation is a small part of this movement where we are coming forward to help them. But the overall groundwork is yet to be done and I feel that this could be done by small NGOs and foundations only.

Mypencildotcom: Most of the people from this community are heading towards achieving success, so do you think these key points will help them to move towards an easy and normal life?

Lavanya: Yes, not everybody is developing but still, some of them are growing and people are normalizing those things. We should provide them with more support and resources to help them grow. Many people are doing wonders from this community like an IAS officer from this community and many beauty pageants are introducing India at a work level and bringing a change in the society.

Mypencildotcom: What are the basic struggles which you faced during this journey?

Lavanya: Firstly, people didn’t believe that I’m just 23 and because of this people didn’t have faith in this project. Secondly was the financial issues, people were not ready to donate regarding this issue. Last year, we shortlist many venues but people declined by giving excuses like it will destroy the reputation of our hotel. Lack of support, faith, and financial issues were the major problems that I had faced.

Mypencildotcom: What was the major outcome of this event?

Lavanya: The outcome was so great even after many barriers, we completed it successfully and that brings us major satisfaction. The participants and contestants were from all over India and now they are our family. Some of them were in the closet and they never told their family or friends that they belong to such a community. Even some of them inspired others to go ahead and inform their family members. These are the greatest achievements of this event.

Mypencildotcom: What was the inspiration that drives you forward every day?

Lavanya: The first story which I told you is about Anatara, who wanted to be a nurse but right now she has not completed her education. She has been such an inspiration to me and she came to me during that hygiene period. She was there and made them understand this topic. She inspired me a lot and even I’m ready to provide her education but the main thing was who will assign her work. That is the main issue but it kept me going. Then, I met contestants from this community and they all have their own story and they are an inspiration. They are the ones who are facing difficulties and struggles in their daily life. They are my biggest inspiration and if I could help them in any way then that would be the biggest achievement of my life.

Mypencildotcom: Do you think this is still taboo for lots of family members and they do find it difficult to express themselves?

Lavanya: The biggest problem is when your family doesn’t support you. You stop yourself from development and go into depression and face anxiety. All these mental problems begin. If you aren’t able to express yourself in your family then how will you be able to come in front of society? Rather than being feared about these things, one should come from and be proud of whoever they are.

Mypencildotcom: One message you would like to give to all the audience of Mypencildotcom.
If you teach your children about the third gender from childhood, then life will become very simple and they will not bully that child in school, will not disturb and rather support him and create an environment for him in which he does not have any problem. When we support each other, everyone will grow and they will also get job opportunities and they will also do good work in life. They are limited to begging and prostitutes only. They should be provided respect and recognition in society. Everyone should get proper education because it could bring a great change in society.