Teenage Social Entrepreneur Sia Sehgal felicitated by Kinnar Asmita Sanstha for initiatives to Empower Transgender Community of India
Kinnar Asmita Sanstha (KAS) is an institution that has been making progress toward the skill development and livelihood of the transgender community since 2010. At a gathering of close to 100 community members in Kalyan (East), KAS distributed Voter ID cards to help them avail benefits of various government schemes. This marks a positive step in securing their basic human rights. Sia Sehgal, a grade 12 student from Hill Spring International School, Mumbai, was invited to the Camp by President Neeta Kene to present her App, TRANSCONNECT, in an interactive session with the members.
“I have been working closely with the ostracised transgender community for the past few years and understand their needs and requirements. This app, the first of its kind in India, provides pertinent information regarding legal rights, health facilities, stories of trans achievers, events, and job opportunities” said Sehgal. As Sia familiarised them with the features and addressed their queries, the audience was enthusiastic about the App and provided valuable feedback on ways to make it more efficient.
During the event, the eighteen-year-old also aired a documentary of her journey with the community, highlighting her efforts to include trans individuals in mainstream society. Her efforts began during the pandemic when she got hundreds of them vaccinated against Covid, free of cost, through her healthcare initiative TRANSAFE. Realising their bleak financial situation, she then initiated TRANSPIRE, a sustainable bag project, to provide them with employment and dignity.
Simran Singh, a talented transgender artist and activist, while felicitating Sia with a trophy for her dynamic action towards inclusion, announced, “Sia is a compassionate change maker who is striving to eradicate the stigma that surrounds us. She is empowering us to have a happy story”. Sia has designed and produced sustainable tote bags, using artwork by Simran Singh, and got them stitched by skilled tailors from their community. This Transpire product was pitched to global retail stores with potential orders in the pipeline, while the local ones are already being fulfilled.