Karimnagar: They might have been shunned by the society and discriminated unjustly, but they have turned out to the messiahs for those in need during the pandemic. The transgenders aka hijras who are viewed with derision by many for no reason, formed a group in this district just to help the Covid positive persons by supplying fruits, vegetables and eggs free of cost.
Though many people are providing food to the people in home isolation, the third gender persons are helping the infected people with the money they earned by seeking alms. Most of them visit shops and business establishments and seek alms and a majority of the businessmen part with money as it is considered to be auspicious to give money to the third gender.
A group of ten Hijras have been purchasing fruits, vegetables and eggs by spending the money collected through alms and distributing it free of cost to people affected with Covid and home isolated. Each pack containing apples, sweet lime, beetroot, carrot and other vegetables, besides 30 eggs all worth Rs 1,500 is being given to each family. Sometimes, the fish is also supplied to Covid positive families.
Speaking to Telangana Today, the group leader Ashadam Asha said a majority of the poor were not taking nutritious food. It would become very difficult for them to overcome the virus if they failed to take nutritious food, besides medicine. So, they have decided to distribute nutritious food, especially fruits, vegetables and protein-rich non-vegetarian items such as fish and eggs.
When asked why they had decided to distribute fruits and vegetables, she said they knew very well about discrimination. People infected by the virus have been discriminated against by relatives, neighbours and locality people.
If the entire family was infected by the virus, the family members will not be able to come out to earn money and buy fruits or vegetables since they have to stay in home isolation for 14 days. Poor people were finding it extremely difficult to make both ends meet, if they found themselves coronavirus positive.
“Initially, I started distribution in my locality, the 22nd division of Karimangar Municipal Corporation with the help of local people. When I began distributing food, I learnt that a majority of poor are eagerly waiting for help from others. So, I formed a group after discussing it with my friends.” They were taking help of an NGO Spandana to identify the families which need help.
When they approached people, some of them were denying to accept packs claiming that they were not infected by the virus while a few others were accepting after counselling. Besides giving packs, infected people have also been counselled about precautionary measures, including maintaining hygiene, hand washing and maintaining physical distance and other precautionary measures, she said.
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