In an attempt to regain their financial independence and live a life of dignity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of ten transgenders initiated their very own eating outlet ‘Covai Trans-Kitchen’ earlier this week in the RS Puram area near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
The group consisting of ten transwomen who were proficient at making dum biryani made productive use of the lockdown period by honing their cooking skills and together with the support from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) they could finally launch their 32-seater restaurant.
Sangeetha, chief of Coimbatore Transgenders Association, said “We plan to open another eatery. It is important that people of our community stop begging and become self-reliant,” reported ANI.
Covai Trans Kitchen, a 32-seater restaurant on the Venkataswamy Road, RS Puram, Coimbatore will be completely run by a team of 10 transgender people. Kudos Sangeetha (President Coimbatore District Transgender Association) Swasti, & Appasamy College Management (for 6 mt training)
— AIPWA@ANI (@AIPWAANI5) September 4, 2020
“Catering is our primary business. But due to Covid-19, many of the restaurants where our community members were working had been closed. They were jobless. So, we thought we should open a small kitchen that would beneficial to everyone. Through the Transgender Association of Coimbatore, ten of our members have joined here. The kitchen is run entirely by them right from preparing the food, to packaging and delivery,” says Sangeetha, who has been running her own canteen nearby for more than 15 years.
However, finding a place for the kitchen proved to be one of the biggest obstacles for the group as not many were willing to rent the space for them. Being probably the first of its kind ‘trans-kitchen’ in the state entirely run by the community members caused many to raise their eyebrows as they were apprehensive of its smooth functioning. Nevertheless, with the aid of a lawyer, the group managed to find a place for the ‘Covai Trans-Kitchen’ on the Venkataswamy Road, RS Puram, Coimbatore.
This group of ten transwomen solely handle every aspect related to the restaurant which involves cooking, taking orders, serving and billing. Also, they have been through a 20-day-training programme which was offered free of cost by a city college which helped them learn new recipes.
“Public and local media has been very kind to us. With their support, we are able to attract more customers. We have started receiving bulk orders, up to 15 kgs of biryani is sold on a daily basis. After six months, if the business continues to provide good profit, we are planning to open a second unit to provide more job opportunities to our community members,” told Sangeetha to The Indian Express.