Livelihood option for transgenders and Hijras: model towards addressing issues of HIV among TGs and Hijras
Pahal Foundation, Faridabad, India
Issues: In India, HIV stands at alarmingly 7.4% among MSM & TG. Given their gender expressions and identity TGs and Hijras are looked down upon by the society and are not able to earn secure livelihood options. This adversely affects their self esteem and makes them more vulnerable to HIV.
Description: We have initiated a unique effort by establishing a beauty parlor and training centre. This initiative is a self help group by the TG and Hijras and it also has members who are living with HIV. The group started in April 2009 and employs 12 community members. The parlor offers training facilities for TGs and Hijras.
Lessons learned: The parlor earns revenue of 9000 INR per month with a net profit of 3000 INR. The parlor has trained two batches of 15 TGs and Hijras each. The parlor also serves as centre for dissemination of information on HIV and AIDS in a non threatening environment.
Next steps: The parlor is well accepted by the community as it is formed by the community themselves. It has encouraged the community to protect itself from HIV and those who are living with HIV to access care and support services.