India is one of the few countries that legally recognize transgender as the third gender. This landmark judgment was passed in April, 2014.
However, even today transgenders remain socially excluded and not much is known about the aspirations, lives and struggles of our countrys transgender communities. To mark Transgender Awareness Week in India, Godrej India Culture Lab hosted a special event on Nov 18 along with the Dancing Queens, Mumbais premiere professional transgender-led dance contingent. Over 600 people attended the event, including Nadir Godrej, MD of Godrej Industries Ltd, Prince Manvendra Gohil from Rajpipla, Gujrat, famous LGBT activist Ashok Row Kavi and filmmakers Paromita Vohra and Bishaka Datta. The dance troupe, led by Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode revealed what it means to identify as transgender in India, the obstacles faced by the community, and methods for prevailing over them, through a series of exciting choreographed numbers, interwoven with award-winning videos by the Culture Labs Fulbright Scholar in Residence Jeff Roy. Speaking at the event Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, said, I am thrilled to see the success of this event. It is a symbol of the change that is emerging in India. We, at Godrej, have had more than 30 events over the past 5 years at Godrej around LGBT themes. We hope that todays event inspires other companies in India to take up this important cause to further human rights and equality in India.