Holi celebration also known as Yaoshang Festival in the local language has turned out to be one of the moments to spread sporting spirit in Manipur.
Transgender is also following the same trend not just to promote sports movement but also to sensitize gender equality and equity of the trans community.
Like every locality is organising a sports meet as a part of the Yaoshang festival that lasts for five days, the transgender community also conducted a marathon race on March 8 as a transgender mega event. The event held under the theme "Run for Trans-Equity" was organised by Transgender Health and Wellness Centre (TGHWC)under Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO), Manipur State AIDS Control Society and PATH and supported by PEPFAR and CDC Project Sunshine.
The race was flagged off by minister of Health, Dr Sapam Ranjan from the gate of Manipur University Canchipur under Imphal West and destined at the office of TGHWC Porompat under Imphal East. The race covers around 10 km and was participated by as many as 100 transgender.
Addressing the media on the sidelines, the program manager of TGHWC, Bonita said that the transgender community is still encountering discrimination and harassment in a different form. These instances have made them reluctant to integrate in society. But nevertheless, the community is putting in all possible means to overturn the inequality and prejudice that society showed them.
Today's marathon is conducted with the sole objective to break the stereotype they normally face by spreading a message that they can play an equal role as other sections of society. The event will serve as a platform for the trans community to display their talents in sports, she added.
One of the trans-woman Anu (name changed) who is a make-up artist by profession and participated in a marathon told to India Today NE that "from childhood, she wanted to take part in Yaosang sports. But due to fear of stigma and discrimination in society, she had never participated in any sports meet. Therefore taking part in this today's marathon race is just like fulfilling my long-cherished dream."
Anu also told that trans-woman is often prejudiced as people who know nothing other than putting cosmetics. The time has come to remove such misconceptions as nowadays trans- community has excelled in diverse fields, she expressed.
Minister, Sapam Ranjan also appreciated the organiser for conducting the sports event with so much of meaning and objectives.
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