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Next time you are stopped by transgenders at a traffic signal, they may have a safety lesson for you. The transgenders, associated with Noida-based NGO Basera, and law students have teamed up with the Delhi Traffic Police to impart lessons on road safety to motorists in the national Capital from October 25. The initiative, which also focuses on bringing transgenders into the mainstream, is the brainchild of Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA).
“We will hold a dress rehearsal on October 23 at Baba Kharag Singh Marg…It will formally start on October 25. 150 volunteers and 26 transgenders will form teams and dole out traffic lessons in various districts,” Dharmesh Sharma, Member Secretary, DSLSA, said.
The teams will work in two shifts — 10 am to noon and 2 to 4 pm — on selected days, hold banners, distribute pamphlets to motorists and interact with them.
The volunteers have undergone a two-day training at the Traffic Training Park on Baba Kharag Singh Marg. They will impart road safety lessons on November 5, 12, 19 and 26 as part of the three-month pilot project.
One of the objectives of our programme is to incorporate transgenders in the mainstream, said Sharma.
Ram Kali, who heads Basera, said, “Many of the transgenders who are part of the initiative beg at traffic signals and are sex workers. This has given us hope. It’s a matter of pride for our community…We will also be paid Rs 1,000 a day.”
Kali said many people praised them during one of their rehearsals at India Gate.
“One person said to me ‘usually we see people from the transgender community begging at traffic signals, but it’s inspiring to see you as traffic volunteers’,” said Kali.
Another transgender, who underwent the training, said they were told how important it is to wear helmets properly.
“I have no qualms about saying that I was a sex worker, but around a month ago, I came to know about this initiative. The members of Basera counselled me…It’s been a month since I have left that profession,” said Rohini (name changed).
The volunteers will ask rickshaw-pullers and e-rickshaw drivers at metro and railway stations not to obstruct movement of passengers and park their vehicles properly, said Sharma.