“The Day” which was as normal as any other sunny day but who knew that it will bring a difference and will leave a lifelong impression on a small 5years old girl. Yes, you heard it right, the seed of this project which flourished and came into existence today was sown in the heart and mind of a girl when she was just in the age learning how to even join words to make a sentence without even knowing the meaning of it, in a way was a raw clay which was just ready to mould the way anybody want.
So, to begin it started “The Day” when she and her 8 years old sister were playing in a park in their puerility. And that was a moment which turned that ordinary day into extra- ordinary one, when the younger one noticed a group of eunuchs passing by. She just whispered in her elder sister’s ear that look there is a group of “Hijraas”, in continuation she said they are not good people, I’m scared of them, we should not talk to them..(Wo Dekho hijraa jarahe hai, ye ache log nahi hote, Muje inse darr lagta hai, inse baat nhi karni chahiye). She thought she murmured but it was a bit loud and hearing that one of the trans lady dressed up in a skyblue sequin saree with a heavy heart and teary eyes walked towards them, put her hand on the forehead, blessed them immensely and said “hum bhi insaan hi hai- hum bure log nahi hai beta hume bhagwaan ne hi aise bnaya h” (“we are also humans, we are not bad people baby, we are also one of God’s creation).
As a kid, she was fascinated by their looks and jazzy dresses but she never knew that, that day will change her perspective in such a young age.
That day was The Day of realisation, The Day of acceptance, The Day of blessings, The Day of happiness and love, and last but not the least that day was “The Day”.
Time passed by but she never forgot “The Day” and that feeling. Later, both the sisters got married and settled. But the story doesn’t end here, the younger one had a very stressful married life as she struggled so much to gain respect in her in-laws house, being a working woman, managing house, did everything to prove her worth but nothing was acceptable or valued in their eyes after having lots of health issues due to stress and after managing for 3.5yrs finally she chose “Respect over Disrespect” and walked out.
During the same time, one of those days she was travelling in an auto and met one trans woman at the MG road signal. Surprisingly, that trans lady asked about her health instead of asking for money. That day was a trigger to her that bought back the historic event of her childhood and made her realise that “ Me being a woman belong to so called mainstream struggling for Respect and so are they struggling for - Respect, that was again “The Day” that one thing was clear it’s not about a women or a Trans, it’s all about the Nazar and Nazariya of the society of us”.
That was day she started working hard, doing research to bring the change in the society and ensure that “Respect is for All” and named the initiative as “Project Shakti”.
So here I am today. I’m Dipika Batta and this is my story.
That day I decided that, I’ll do something at least something that will clearly state that “Respect is for all” and with this we bring to you “NazarAndaaz- progression towards inclusivity” this has a clear purpose that we wish not to NazarAndaaz our trans friends any more and do as much as we can to make our country a place of equality for everyone.
I can’t finish this without sharing the names of the people who are the pillars of NazarAndaaz.
The first believer of this idea, who not just believed but also encouraged me a lot to execute at the earliest and also responsible for shaping it into reality Meet “Raghu Panicker- Co-Founder NazarAndaaz, Another believer of this idea, actually she is a part of it from the time of research. She is my elder sister “Bhanupriya - by the way I whispered in her ears only. She manages the content, outreaches and awareness about NazarAndaaz“.
I’m blessed to have all of them as a part of this project.
Thank you everyone for taking time to read my story and knowing about the trigger for NazarAndaaz.