Express News Service
TIRUCHY: If the pandemic taught us something, it’s that situations change and the only way forward is to adapt. Showcasing this, a group of transwomen from Tiruchy have found ways to not just be self-reliant and meet people’s needs, but also set an example.
United under the banner ‘Tiruchy Pasumai Patru’, a team of 10 transwomen set up a shop for juice, coffee, knick-knacks, and ornamental plants in 2017. But then the pandemic struck, spelling doom for small businesses. However, they noticed something — there was an increased demand for potted herbs and organic manure.
But they didn’t know much about either of these. “So all of us took a few courses on organic farming from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) Krishi Vigyan Kendra,” explains Kajol, a Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board member, who led the team.
“We felt deeply about this cause as we were aware of how chemicals, added to plants, affect the soil, and in turn, our farmers, and our health,” she adds, pointing out that it helped the group find a sense of direction.
About a year ago, the transwomen started selling potted herbs, manure, panchakaviya, and fish amino acid. Panchakaviya and fish amino acid are used in organic farming. Now, some of them plan to start small gardens in Tiruchy, and sell more products used in organic farming under the ‘Tiruchy Pasumai Patru’ brand.
“These organic products increase the nutrients and fertility of soil. We hope to exclusively sell our products from next month. We also plan to sell immunity-boosting potted herbs,” says Pooja, a member of the group.
However, they don’t have facilities for mass production, so they plan to approach Collector S Sivarasu and request a bigger space to work. “We also need a few cows to make these products. We hope the administration helps us,” says Bhoomika, another member, who is also a farmer.
The team dreams of having enough space for large-scale production, says Kajol. “We know what to do. We just need help to establish ourselves and get a space to start production. We want to show that transwomen can bring about a change in society.”