International Transgender Day of Visibility: 8 powerful stories in imagery

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By Puja Gupta

New Delhi– “You never know how strong you are till being strong becomes the only choice,” echoes Razia who is a transgender.

A student of History, Razia wants to make a career in acting and holds a degree in classical dance. She has a powerful story to share with us all.

Alike Razia, there are seven other transgender people from different walks of life who are being featured in a photo essay, unfolding their stories of survival.

The campaign highlights their “inner beauty and power to fight the odds of societal rejection, ridicule and violence”.

Commenting on her journey Anushya, who rides an auto rickshaw for her living,

says: “Torture followed me like a train and brought me to a life of fruition. For, hurt is the only way to heal.”

Initiated by Varanasi-based fashion brand Shanti Banaras, the campaign titled ‘Akathya’ that was launched on social media also features make-up artiste Sara, dancer and chef by profession, Shobhana, homemaker Vinita, Yamini, who works with a tech firm, activist Taslima, Sujithra, who is Tamil Nadu’s first Radio Jockey and a student of Criminology.


About the campaign, Khushi Shah, Creative Director, Shanti Banaras, tells IANSlife: “We chose radiant, bold, strong multicoloured hues to best resonate with the solid and deep personality of the transgender that we worked with. An interplay of stripes in concurrent fashion reflect a mix of emotions all in different forms (colours) that these transgender’s have to go through on an everyday basis.”

Creative Director Amrit says: “It’s incredible how each of these fiesty people have risen above the ordeals of rejection and disdain to find a life of dignity for themselves. Each texture of their life as rich as a loom, hand woven in our atelier and each shade of their life as bright. It was our privelege to capture them in our weaves.”

“This photo essay above all is an ode to the city of Varanasi that is a symbol of co- existence. The abode where the most vibrant of life lives next door to the abode of death,” he adds. (IANS)


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