Updated: March 27, 2021 9:53:22 am
In a move aimed at encouraging transgender people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, a tea stall to be run exclusively by five members of the community has been opened in Chennai’s Royapettah.
Set up as a part of a collaborative effort by Three Roses, India One Brand Service and Sahodaran and Thozhi, two transgender welfare associations, the shop was inaugurated by Tamil filmmaker of ‘Coffee Café’ fame Arunkumar Senthil. The acclaimed film is a commentary on issues plaguing the transgender community.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sabi, a member of the transgender association and one of organisers of the event, said they are very thankful for Three Roses to have come with an initiative that will go a long way in helping many members of her community become successful entrepreneurs.
“We got in touch with Three Roses through a transgender trust in Mumbai. India One Brand, too, wanted to be part of such an initiative in Tamil Nadu. We started looking for places and thought it would be ideal to start something like this in Chennai. We chose five members of our association who were willing to be part of a project like this. They chose a place near Royapettah and Three Roses supported them in setting up the shop. We are planning to expand this initiative to other areas such as Vadapalani, Ambattur, Ennore and Ponneri,” she said.
Sabi added that the members running the shop are local residents and are familiar with the area.
“At our office in Thozhi, Chennai, we have a database of about 2,700 transgenders. We know their qualification, areas of interest, salary expectations, etc. Some of them are interested in entrepreneurship, while others ask us to find them jobs in corporate companies as per their qualifications. So, we nominate the members accordingly for each job. The five members who have put together this tea stall in Royapettah will inspire many people.
We received a great response from the public today as many of them visited the shop. The members were given training for a week on how to make a proper cup of tea, how to maintain the accounts and how to keep the premises hygienic, among others. For the first three months, we will support the members financially by paying the rent for the shop, procure necessary items such as tea packets, milk, sugar, etc. Eventually, they have to pick up and take care of the shop entirely by themselves,” Sabi added.
The local transgender community has also requested the government to help their business thrive by providing Aavin milk packets, which will help them manage their expenses.
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