PUNE: Ten transgender persons who have proved their mettle in various fields, breaking from the stereotypes and stigmas attached to their personality, were felicitated with Kinnar Sanman Puraskar at a programme on Sunday. The awardees include artists, teachers, sarpanch and social workers.
Swapnil Kamble, a businessman who is the organiser of these awards, said, “Vrushali Bhosale, one of our employees, came up to me with this suggestion that we could contribute towards the betterment of this marginalised section of society and recognise their work. We believe that this will prove to be a step towards normalising the identity of transgender persons.”
Mauli Kamble from Tarangfal in Malshiras taluka, became the first transgender person in the country to be elected sarpanch of the village. Mauli was one of the awardees of the Kinnar Sanman Puraskar. Mauli has been working at the grassroot level for the issues in her village, helping villagers in accessing government facilities and schemes. Kamble’s work allowed her to cleansweep the sarpanch elections.
Sanchita Patil, a filmmaker, was another awardee. She hails from a rural background has been a vocal activist for issues of the transgender community. Pushing financial and other burdens aside, she produced and directed a short film on the issues of the community, called ‘Koti’. The film received acclaim at national and international film festivals.
Disha Sheikh, a poet, was also awarded. She is one of the most recognised young poets and has received various other acclaims. She has written extensive poetry not just about the issues related to gender and sexuality but also ones which make an intricate socio-political commentary.
Other awardees included Panna Gabriel, founder of ‘Ashriwad’, an NGO which works for the needy, actress Rashmi Punekar, counsellor and activist Prerna Waghela among others. The awards were presented by Deputy Mayor Siddharth Dhende and actor Vikram Gokhale.