Celebrating Pongal with transgenders

The Rotaractors of RAC Dexterous, RID 3232, celebrated Pongal, the harvest festival, with transgenders in Chennai. “We hired a wedding hall for a day and invited around 50 transgenders for Pongal celebrations,” said club president Roshitkumar. This is the third consecutive year the club is celebrating an inclusive Pongal festival. Students from three city colleges also participated in the festivities.

Rotaractors helping wheelchair-bound people to enjoy at the Marina beach in Chennai.
Rotaractors helping wheelchair-bound people to enjoy at the Marina beach in Chennai.

The programmes included a ramp walk, rangoli and cookery competition, and cultural performances. The Rotaractors had arranged several games to make the day interesting. At the end of the day saris were gifted to the visitors, after a feast of festive meals.

A transgender receives a sari as part of the Pongal celebrations organised by the club.
A transgender receives a sari as part of the Pongal celebrations organised by the club.

A visit to the beach

The Rotaractors took the physically-challenged people enrolled with a foster home in Tiruvottiyur, a suburb near Chennai, to the Marina Beach. “Twenty volunteers took 50 wheelchair-bound people in a bus and helped them feel and touch the waters of the Bay of Bengal. We pushed their wheelchairs on a special ramp put up by the Tamil Nadu government on the beach,” said Roshitkumar. The project was titled Let the waves touch the feet. For many of them this was their first experience visiting the beach, he added.

After spending two hours, soaking in the atmosphere and listening to the crashing of the waves on the shores, they were treated to a sumptuous plate of snacks, after which they were dropped back at the home.

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