Bengaluru is far more open to a cause: Activist

Kalki Subramaniam exhibits paintings to raise funds for four transgenders who were rescued from sex trafficking

August 25, 2016 05:45 pm | Updated 06:29 pm IST - Bengaluru:

Kalki Subramaniam at her painting exhibition in Bengaluru on Wednesday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Kalki Subramaniam at her painting exhibition in Bengaluru on Wednesday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

What is striking about the 20 paintings, the works of transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam, more than the splash of myriad colours, is a bold plea for equality in status for the third gender.

Ms. Subramaniam’s one-day exhibition at Rangoli Metro Art Centre was organised by, a Bengaluru-based crowd-funding platform, marking a new beginning for raising funds for the cause of transgenders.

The exhibition aimed to raise funds for four transgenders from poor backgrounds who were rescued from sex trafficking.

“Bengaluru, with so many young professionals, is far more open to a cause. I will come here often to showcase my work,” she told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Ms. Subramaniam, who is from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, is a self-taught painter. She did all the paintings over the last six months.

She is the first transgender in India to act as the lead (in Tamil film Nartaki ) and has 25 poems with her own illustrations to her credit. “I am a poet, painter and an actor, and I happen to be a transgender. I will fight for the cause of transgenders,” she said.

“Open minded acceptance from my family to my gender identity crisis helped me get over the indifference in society. My family helped me walk through school and college with confidence. I have earned a master’s in Mass Communication and another in International Relations,” she said, adding that only education can bring about a change.

Pointing out that the number of transgenders in India could be far higher than the official figures, she said that the Transgender Persons Bill should ensure reservations in employment and a quota in the civil services.

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