Of hope and conviction – Beacon of Hope – SubtitledBhushan | 25th Feb, 2015

Duration: 5:20

Season 3 of Satyamev Jayate in 2014 again proved to be spectacular and eye opening as they dealt with issues like depression, tuberculosis, LGBT issues and 377, harmful notions and effects of masculinity in India, road accidents and importance of sports. The 19 October 2014 episode dealt with problems faced by LGBT people in India due to discrimination by the society and the law that makes homosexuality illegal. A series of guests came on the show. These people from different walks of life belonged to or were associated to the LGBT community and movement in India.

In this section the guest was Simran, a hijra. He was born as Samir, a parsi boy in Mumbai. From his early childhood days he was continuously taunted for being feminine by his parents and siblings. At the age of 14 he left his home. His family showed no understanding neither did they try to stop him. He stayed on a railway station for 3 days with just a few rupees in his pocket. On a third day a hijra offered him some food and tea. He took him to Reay Road and Samir’s new life started from there as Simran. She started begging in the trains as a hijra to survive. She even tried sex work at night but was very disgusted with it. On a friend’s recommendation she got a job in bar in Khar west to dance. By the time she was 17 she had collected some money and re continued her education. In 5 years she completed graduation by attending college in the day and earning money at the dance bar in the night. She met some HIV awareness volunteers at the bar and joined them as one. She joined India HIV Alliance and moved up the scale from becoming a peer educator to an outreach worker to heading a national level organization working in 17 states.
Explaining about the often perceived notions of the hijras by our society as being rude and ill mannered, she reasoned that they are after money because society hasn’t given them jobs. Aamir informed the audience that as per the recent law passed by Supreme Court the transgenders now get recognized as “third gender” and are eligible to apply for jobs in government sectors. Simran further explained that a “hijra” goes through certain rituals and follows the community tradition and customs. They form alliances like “Guru”/ “Guru-bhai” who gives them support and guidance. Simran recalled that she once called her father but he said that she was dead for him. She felt bad but she is happy now she has world of her own where people love her. She further gave message to the audience and the society that human is the most beautiful creation of God, and if we don’t respect his every creation then we are disrespecting God. Aamir put forth a very important point that it is time for us to introspect what is stopping us from accepting and loving such people whole heartedly.

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