Kerala transwoman is harassed by other vendors for selling biryani, the Internet comes in support

The global Covid-19 pandemic unexpectedly entered our lives and put everything to a halt. The pandemic has left a huge impact on the lives of almost everyone, bringing a flood of tension and worries followed by negative thoughts and piles of boredom.

But Sajana Shaji, a transwoman from Kerala’s Kochi, took it as a challenge to handle this situation with determination. Sajana started her own roadside biryani business, after being badly hit by the coronavirus crisis but it did not go down well as planned.

She has employed four other trans women and one trans male who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Everything was going well but later local shopkeepers and vendors started harassing her and her staff.

Shaji, heartbroken over the harassment, shared a video on Facebook which shows her breaking down while trying to recall the incidents. In the video, she expressed how a nearby vendor spread rumors about the quality of her biryani which caused massive losses for her business.

Sajana asked in the video, “Look at the amount of food that has gone to waste. People keep asking us to work and live a decent life, instead of begging on trains and roaming the streets at night. What should we do if they don’t allow us to do even that?.”

She also alleged that they approached the police seeking help but did not get any help. The video, which is becoming viral on social media, has gathered much support from people and many started sharing Sajana’s contact details urging their friends to help her out. Actors like Fahadh Faasil, Vinay Forrt, Rima Kallingal, Nazriya Nazim also shared Sajana’s story in a display of their solidarity.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja announced that Sajana will get the necessary assistance from the police. She also announced that the government will provide her emergency financial assistance under the Kerala Social Security mission’s project ‘We care’.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.