Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 16: A group of transgenders have joined hands to mobilise money for the victims of the recent Kerala floods in a unique way -- staging a play.
Putting aside their own sufferings, as many as 14 transgenders, most of whom are jobless and struggling to earn their daily bread, are getting ready to stage the play here under the aegis of the state-based Dhwayah Transgenders Arts and Charitable Society. The ticket amount, charged from the audience, would be used to support flood-hit students and rebuild selected schools ravaged in the devastating floods, that had left a trail of destruction across the state last month.
They have also planned to use the money to help their own fellow members in the community, who had suffered the loss in the floods. Titled "Parayan Maranna Kathakal", the two-hour-long play is helmed by Tamil Nadu-based queer activist and director Sreejith Sundaram, trans woman Surya, one of the artists, said. "People may not respond positively if we seek a donation. So, we have decided to mobilise the money through our own way, by showcasing our talents," Surya told PTI. "Unlike other dramas, we are trying to tell our own story through this play. It is about the sufferings we undergo, the ostracisation and humiliation we face in the family and society and the saga of our continuing struggles to find a space," she said.
In one way, it would be an awareness drive to educate society about a transgender's life, the activist said. Surya, also a member of the Kerala Transgender Justice Board, said the TGs had already donated Rs 50,000 to the Chief Minister's distress relief fund. All the actors of the play are the members of the 'Mazhavil Dhwani', an all-TG drama troupe. The play, being staged at the Ganesham auditorium at Thycaud here Monday evening, will have 14 trans men and one trans woman as actors.
The main objective of the group was to support students who have lost their study materials in floods in the worst-hit Aluva and Chalakkudy regions, she said. "Parayan Maranna Kathakal" has already been staged in four venues in the state. It has already been selected to an international theatre festival to be held in Goa later this year, the activist added.