Mumbai is a city where you will find some of the most amazing people in this world. You never know when you’ll come across a person who will shock you, please you, or inspire you. And it's the ordinary things that these people do that makes them so extraordinary.
Once such person in Mumbai is Manju. Manju is a transgender woman who drives an autorickshaw in the city.
In a Facebook Post, Poonam Khinchi wrote about when she found Manju. When Khinchi first noticed the vibrant nails of her Auto driver, she thought that he must have kept a ‘mannat’ for some God. But when she asked about the nails, a sweet humble voice replied to her saying, "Didi Eid Ki Tayari Kar Rahi Hoon."
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During the conversation with Manju, Khinchi found out that Manju lives with her boyfriend. Manju also told her that she used to work in a hotel but she was fired because of her sexuality.
This just shows how our society still discriminates against transgender people. India recognized transgender as a third gender in a landmark ruling in 2014 despite which the transgender community remain maginalized at the risk of abuse. In December last year, after the Lower House passed the bill, protest broke out by the community with many of them claiming that it infringes their rights rather than protecting them. The community continue to fight for employment opportunities and protection of their rights.
And while there has been a positive change recently with India’s newly-elected governments' plans to re-introduce a controversial transgender rights bill within its first 100 days in office, the community is still oppressed by the society in many ways.
It has been five years since Manju has been riding an Auto because she was fired from her job. Now, Manju has to face another demon as she cannot drive post 11pm as a lot of men tease and harass her.
We salute Manju for being the brave Queen she is, and for rocking those pink nails, and for breaking gender norms, like a boss!