Express News Service

PATNA: Transgender people in Bihar, at least in Patna, have got a Samaritan in a 45-year-old Bharat Kaushik, who continues working for their empowerment in education, employment, and rights of survival with dignity through various activities and initiatives. 

During the first and second phases of Covid, Bharat Kaushik spent almost all his savings in providing foods grains and all other supports to poor transgender people, who were facing an acute crisis of commodities during the lockdown. 

When he ran short of money to support the transgenders during the lockdown, he sought help through crowdfunding used to manage his services.

Thousands of transgender people have received help from him and continue to take support from him for carrying their education and eking out a livelihood.

“I want them to stop indulging in begging and other activities and become self-reliant and empowered. For all this, education and training in skill development is the need of the hour”, Kaushik said.

He distributed thousands of masks and hand sanitizers in addition to food grain packets among the transgenders, who were facing a starvation-like situation in the lockdown.

As a gender justice activist, Bharat Kaushik runs a first-of-its-kind ‘ Transgender Model E-Magazine” with a wider pool of followers from the concerned communities from across the country. This is to propagate and voice for  the rights of transgender people,

Kaushik is the name among transgenders, whenever they face problems.

Soon after returning to Patna from Delhi in 2000, he was appalled to see the miserable condition and plight of most transgenders.

“The moment, I realized that the transgender people are not meeting out the treatments as common human beings, I started rendering services to them in every crisis. I encouraged them through various activities for changes in their lives as a mission of my life”, he said.

Kaushik is working towrads bringing developments and changes in the lives of transgender people, who are generally seen begging in trains and in public places, despite being talented in various creative areas.

He has also made a documentary –“The Veera-The Untold Story” depicting the struggle of a transgender lady, who has managed to obtained post-graduation from Patna University.

“Veera was the first transgender woman, who got admission in PU and obtained a degree. On ‘Transgender Model E-Magazine’, started in 2007 with more than 10,000 followers, I get a lot of responses and stories of struggle and suffering of transgender people, who are now living changed lives and doing better”, he said.

According to him, in Bihar, there are more than 50,000 transgenders, who need supports to make them live normal lives and explore their talents.

“For this, a social movement is being promoted through all my activities. Whenever any of them approach me, even at midnight for any kind of help in times of distress, I remain available for sorting out the problems”, he said.

Kaushik as a gender justice activist plans to meet both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in the near future with a charter of demands that included setting up a separate study center for the transgender people in various educational institutions, Transgender Hospitals, Clinics, the seats reserved in public transport systems, financial incentives for start-ups to transgender people, medical back-ups, representation in politics and reservation in educational sectors and public sectors of services.

He has made an appeal to the state health department to set up a separate corona vaccination centre for transgender people in Patna and other districts as many of them shy away from going for vaccination from their homes.

“A housing project should also be started for them as 90% of them are extremely poor and face accommodation problems”, he demanded.

Awarded with the Baba Nagaarjun Samman and various others, Kaushik has emerged as the voice of transgenders in Patna. He said that a majority of transgender people are exploited and discriminated against just because of them being in the third gender in society.

“If we support and help them through various initiatives and incentives, they are blessed with brain and talents to make major direct contributions in the nation-building. They can be good doctors, engineers, singers, scientists, bankers, officers, cops and specialised in various fields because 99% of them have the passion to carve out niches for themselves in society”, he said.