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Udupi’s Transgender Community runs a canteen near Bus Stop

Transgender people have banded together to build a temporary canteen next to the city bus stop, likely for the first time in the neighbourhood. The temporary establishment, which opened approximately 10 days ago, offers tea and coffee for Rs 10 and idli, rice dishes, or upma for Rs 30 each plate between the hours of 1am and 6am.

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Sameeksha Kunder, a transgender MBA graduate who is assisting four people with this endeavour, told TOI that public acceptance is essential for the firm to survive and that so far, things are going well.

This project was started by Poorvi, Vaishnavi, Dimple, and Chandana, with Sameeksha advising them and providing them with Rs 35,000 to launch the business.

Regarding her motivation to pursue activities other than begging and sex work, Sameeksha said: “Due to a problem with the Udupi district police in December, we received negative press. An confrontation between transgender people and Udupi SP Akshay HM in some ways led to the beginning of this programme. According to reports, the SP had questioned the transgenders if we could do something other prostitution and begging “She said.

Every day, they sell 50 plates on average, and some customers even spend 50 rupees for a cup of tea that normally costs just ten rupees. “They currently cook in my house because they don’t have a place of their own to do so. So that there is no issue during the rains, I am expecting that we will soon be able to update and have our own mobile canteen “She spoke.

According to Sameeksha, a transgender person who worked in MNCs in Bengaluru, there are numerous difficulties. “First of all, neither your family nor society accepts you. Finding a rental home is equally difficult. I’ve been able to modify my sex over the years, and I’m currently receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy. In order for us to integrate into society, we want the discrimination to stop. The problem is particularly difficult in smaller cities. Transgender acceptance education must start in schools, and in the current system, police and government personnel must also receive training on how to interact with the community “She spoke. A rough estimate places the number of transgender people in Udupi at 236.

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