Lockdown taught us many things and opened our eyes in many ways. It also opened our eyes to the problems faced by the transgender community, not only during lockdown but also on normal days. When noted social activist Kiran Nippanikar hosted the Kurukshetra session on All About Belgaum during the lockdown, members of the transgender community expressed their problems, and help poured in from all sections of the society.
Leena Topannavar from Ria Infotech took the challenge of a skill development program to the members of the transgender community. Certificate courses in Mehendi, parlor service, and bridal makeup were given to them. Gouri Gajbar from Konnect Skill Enterprise is working tirelessly for the welfare of the community.
Now, Belagavi gets its first-ever exclusive Transgender Food Cart donated by the prestigious Innerwheel Club of Belgaum. The club which is managed by housewives has donated a Food Cart worth Rs 45,000/- to empower the community and was inaugurated by the auspicious hands of Mrs. Ratna Behere ( District Chairman Dist 317). Mrs. Sushma Shetti , President Inner Wheel Club Belgaum has taken up various social issues pertaining to Belagavi and is doing a lot through her Club Members, right from donating for a kidney transplant to distributing toys to slum children, providing vegetable carts to the needy, and now the Food Cart. She along with her team is continuously taking up donation drives as never done by any club before.
Recently a group of Transgender members who had come back from Bangalore to Belagavi was looking to do something on their own in the food industry. That’s when the thought of starting a food cart for these members came up to Kiran Nippanikar and he coordinated with Mrs. Sushma & Gouri Gajbar for the same cause.
Currently, the Cart has been inaugurated near CBT (next to Indira Canteen opp old main market) The Cantonment Board has been kind enough to give them a temporary space which will be soon operational once City Corporation gives a designated spot as assured by the Commissioner Mr Rudresh Ghali.
Yet another attempt to give the Transgender community namely Humanity Foundation their much deserved respected place in the society by collective efforts from good Samaritans in the society. This is the first food cart that has been started and many more to follow at different locations in Belagavi. We appeal to Belgaumites to visit the food carts and support.