Transgender person Sangeetha was murdered in her resident and her body was found on Wednesday morning. An activist, humanitarian and a respected elderly of the trans community, Sangeetha ran a hotel, Covai Trans Kitchen. The hotel also employed twelve transgender people. The body was discovered in her one bedroom apartment, in a plastic drum used for water storage. The drum was filled with salt, to hasted decomposition of the body. Grace Banu, trans rights activist took to Instagram to express her anger at this murder. The body had not been discovered in three days.
The murder has shocked the entire transgender community. Sangeetha was considered to be a elderly trans person who has contributed to the transgender community in Tamil Nadu. She had been an active part of NGOs to promote welfare of transgender people in the State. As a response to the lockdown, she had started the kitchen. There is a collective question that is on everyone’s mind who could have possible committed such a gruesome and inhumane act? Grace Banu asks the same question while addressing the public at large today, why did she have to die when all she ever wanted was a dignified life?
Transgender Community and the Violence they Face
Transgender people all across the world and in India are susceptible to violence. More than thirty transgender people have already been murdered in 2020. While these might be the official numbers, as a community there are subjected to unspeakable amounts of discrimination and violence. The pandemic has been particularly hard on the community because it impacts their livelihoods. They are cu off from their daily income sources making isolation a grueling period for the community. Sangeetha’s kitchen was also started as a response to this loss of livelihoods that is collectively faced by the trasngender community.
The murder of transgender activist Sangeetha is a sad remark on humanity and the ways in which we dehumanise human lives. Grace Banu’s remark of Sangeetha simply wanting to live a dignified life keeps playing on one’s mind. Dignity is what makes us human then why do we keep stripping other people of their birth right?
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