Udupi: Transgenders open canteen, start new life


PTI, Feb 12, 2023, 11:12 AM IST

Image for representation

Transgenders, who have always been kept out of the mainstream by their families and the general public, have started venturing into new areas to begin their lives afresh.

In Udupi district, a group of transgenders who are natives of other districts, have set up a canteen for night-time food seekers.

Three of them, Poorvi, Vaishnavi and Chandana, who used to seek alms on the streets of Udupi, have taken the decision to lead a self-reliant life with a canteen near the Udupi bus stand. They run their canteen from 1 am to 7 am when travellers who find themselves lost in the city wander in search of food. The canteen has turned out to be a boon for the night travellers and those who work in the night shift who leave their workplaces at odd hours.

The canteen provides delicious snacks and tea to the customers. As a majority of hotels in the city are closed during night time, people have now started relishing the snacks at the canteen run by transgenders.

The trio said the response from the public has so far been encouraging and they get respect from the public. They are enjoying the newly found dignified life in the heart of the city. The Udupi police had recently intensified night patrolling to detect the illicit activities of transgenders including sex work. With a cloud of distrust looming over the transgender community, the three got down to the new venture in an attempt to remove the tag imposed on them by the public.

The first MBA degree holding transgender in the state Sameeksha Kunder has invested in the canteen and stood by her friends. The three are preparing the food temporarily from her house.

Kunder said acceptance from the public is crucial for running a small business. However, they have started work with a positive energy, she said.

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