Meet the transwoman who started an NGO to provide shelter to the homeless
Meet Nakshatra, a transwoman who started a Non-Governmental Organization to provide shelter to homeless people.
At the age of 15, Nakshatra has been thrown out of her house by her parents for being a transwoman.
She spent almost two months on the streets eating foods that were thrown away. She knows how hard it feels like to have no family, shelter, or food.
“I was only 15 when my parents threw me out of my house in Gulbarga. They couldn’t accept that their only ‘son’ didn’t identify as male. I was so young, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I then went to Bangalore, without knowing anyone in the big city. I spent two months sleeping on the footpaths, eating food that’s been thrown away, taking shelter under cardboard boxes…I’ve seen it all. I know what it feels like to have no family, home, security, or even a handful of rice. I would never wish this on anyone.” said Nakshatra
After she left her home in Gulbarga, Karnataka in 2017. Then, Nakshatra joined a transgender community after spending her time three months on the streets.
But for Nakshatra, the situation forced her to beg for a living. There was no other option.
Soon she realized that this was not the life she wanted to live. So she started to save money for her education.
After much hard ship Nakshatra got an opportunity to study mechanical engineering and volunteered at Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in Bengaluru, an administrative body that is responsible for civic amenities and infrastructure. She graduated from there.
After she was able to stand on her feet, she started an NGO(Non-Governmental Organization) in 2020 to help the homeless people by providing food, shelter, and education. She knows how it feels to be homeless and living in street, it became her purpose to help those who are going through the same suffering she has gone through.
She was named the organization Nammane Summane, based in Bengaluru. Nakshatra says that this is the first shelter or social service organization started by a transwoman for homeless people in India.
Nammane Summane offers shelter, food, and education to LGBTQIA+ individuals, persons living with HIV, orphans, differently-abled people, senior citizens, and anyone else in need. Nakshatra describes her organization as ‘a refuge for people refused by society.’
“When I was sleeping on the streets, no one helped me. When your family abandons you, you lose the hope to even ask for help. I didn’t want anyone to feel this way. Nammane Summane is a safe and secure home for everyone in need, irrespective of age, religion, or gender,” she recalls.
Whenever Nakshatra and her team of volunteers get a call from the needy, without any hesitation, they will go to help them with food, clothes, and other essentials. Currently, Nammane Summane gives shelter to 40 people, which includes orphaned children, senior citizens, people with mental disabilities, and more.
“At Nammane Summane, we provide beds, three meals a day, education for young children, necessary medication and counseling for people who have been rescued from the streets and who are facing tough times,” said Nakshatra
“We couldn’t even feed the people we were taking care of. Even rice, oil, and dal were difficult to come by. I’ve put everything I had into this NGO, and now I need your help to continue our work.”
Before Nammane Summane was registered as an NGO, Nakshatra faced several problems due to stigma and discrimination.
When she was able to begin the service, the lockdowns stopped them. She even sold all the jewelry she have and used her savings to run the NGO. Still, she needs support. You can co-operate with her on this mission to give homeless people and orphaned individuals a better life.
Click the link below to support Nammane Summane:
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