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HomeIn PicturesFor Chennai's transgenders, buying milk has become a luxury they can't afford...

For Chennai’s transgenders, buying milk has become a luxury they can’t afford in lockdown

Surviving on Rs 1,000 a month from the state government & donations from NGOs, many transgenders in Chennai are struggling to make ends meet.

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Chennai: For the transgender community in Chennai, life during lockdown has been a struggle, and it is not likely to end even as the restrictions ease up. Most of the transgenders have depended on begging for their survival, but lockdown forced them off the streets. Though civic life is now slowly working towards pre-lockdown days, people from this community still can’t go to their usual haunts.

Savitha, a worker with an NGO, tells ThePrint that since train services have not fully resumed yet, and she can’t go to shops to ask for money. Besides, shop owners themselves are also facing heavy losses.

The community has been relying on rations provided by NGOs. Each member of the community has also been receiving Rs 1,000 per month the Tamil Nadu government, but they said this wasn’t enough to cover rent and household expenses.

ThePrint’s photojournalist Manisha Mondal, who is in Chennai tracking the impact of Covid-19, captured some of the stories she witnessed.

Anywhere between two to four people share an apartment to be able to afford rent | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

The houses are usually small spaces. Here, large bags of ration, which were given by NGOs, are stacked to one side | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Two face masks hang from the window grill. A sanitiser is kept at the front door for everyone to use while going in or out of the house | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Jobs have been hard to come by for members of this community. Some, have taken to prostitution. But the virus and the lockdown have meant no work for weeks. Given their profession, this is likely to continue even after lockdown is lifted | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Jodika, Malini and Kaushaliya share a single closet. Their sarees can be seen stacked inside. None of the women have had a chance to wear the clothes since there’s nowhere to go | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Malini is seen making tea with just tea leaves, sugar and water. Malini says she and her flatmates have not been able to afford milk in a while | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

There’s precious little that clutters the dressing table here | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

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