Preethi Daniel

The Voice of the Marginalized

Preethi has her own recruitment agency, PD Consulting services. Besides this, her passion to do community service has made her ‘the voice of the marginalised’, the transgender community.

I recollect an incident that happened during my vacation at my grandparents’ place. I was just 8 years old. The previous day had ended with much joy, fun and frolic. The next morning, as I prepared to play outdoors with my friends, I found the atmosphere quite unusual. My grandmom kept us indoors. She did not permit us to leave the house. We all wondered about the reason for this. I overheard the maid saying, “Someone was bullied and stoned to death.” I came to know that the victim, being neither male nor female had been humiliated and finally stoned to death. To me, ‘neither male nor female’ meant something like a mermaid.

When I started investigating, I realized that there are people who have a gender identity issue and they are called Transgender. As a child, I wanted to know what made them different, why they were harassed, sidelined or even persecuted. It left a lasting impression on my mind and heart.

Years passed by and I worked for a private company in Chennai for 8 years. Then one fine day, I decided to quit my job and went on to become an entrepreneur by starting my own recruitment agency, PD Consulting Services. I also wanted to dedicate more time to community service especially to the transgender community. It is depressing to see this section of the society being deprived of basic needs, work opportunities, education, welfare or healthcare. How was I supposed to help them?

I started looking for job opportunities for the Transgender. I realized that there was a great disparity in the thoughts of a transgender and others. People avoid them due to their difference in behavior. That is when I figured one important thing. All they need is ‘Acceptance’. That was the first step. We should accept them as fellow human beings, include them in our activities and help them to work on their vision.

Ever since my journey helping the Transgender Community began there is no turning back. I am presently working on integrating the transgender people with the local community which is my prime focus. All our social programs always includes them. The joy that we see on their faces is the first sign of success. We invited a couple of transgender women to our recent Women’s Day programme. We received them with a hug and made them sit as guests. We heard them say, “This is our first experience being at a Women’s Day event and also the first time we were hugged”. Their joy knew no bounds. We requested them to address the people and initially they were quite hesitant. But when they felt comfortable they went on to share about their desires and the difficulties they face in making their dreams come true.

We really don’t have to feel sorry for them; all we have to do is to just truly understand them. When we start understanding them, when we start accepting them, when we start including them and when we stop seeing them differently, we can make the community, the city and the country a better place for everyone to live in. Until this happens, I will continue to be their voice.

This is Preethi Daniel, The Voice of the Marginalized.

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