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Friday, September 30 2022
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Yenepoya (deemed Univ) Upskilling program: A Lifeskill Building Initiative

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Mangaluru: The transgender community (Mangalamukhi) is among the most marginalized and stigmatized communities in India. According to the National Human Rights Commission, about 92% are refused jobs and left to tend to themselves relegating them to a life of penury. The umbrella of protection lost from their own homes when they are transitioning, makes them run away from home. Furthermore, the non-acceptability of transgender children by their parents deprives them of the right to education which hampers their right to a dignified livelihood. Several organizations have tried to improve the life of transgender people by providing them education, food and shelter. The Centre for Ethics, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), ever conscious of its social responsibilities, felt the need to provide them with an upskilling program designed to develop livelihood building skills such as tailoring, embroidery, bag-making, etc so that each one could take up the leadership to impart the learnt skills to the others in their community, and also set up their own livelihood with dignity and self-respect. 

Inaugural of the upskilling program

Dr Vina Vaswani, Director, Centre for Ethics and Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine welcomed the gathering and referred to the Constitution of India, and how basic rights and guarantees are enshrined for all. She spoke of the need for society to encourage mainstreaming of the marginalized sections of society.  Dr Naheeda Hamza, Research Assistant, Centre for Ethics, introduced the Chief Guest Dr Leena KC, Principal, Yenepoya Nursing College and Chairperson, Gender Sensitization Cell, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) and the resource person Dr Manjula Jagatramka of Vaitarna, Mumbai. Dr Leena K.C motivated transgender people to set goals for themselves and to drive their motives by upskilling themselves in order to reach their goals. Dr Manjula Jagatramka shared her experiences and gave an inspirational account of her life journey to the audience gathered.

Dr Abdul Rahiman, Former Vice-Chancellor, Kannur and Calicut Universities, and Dr Nandish BT, Controller of Examinations, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) distributed the sewing kits to the participants. The kits consisted of scissors, measuring tape, a needle threader, a cross-stitch tool, and a fabric.

4-day intensive upskilling program

Day 1- Terminologies in sewing, fabric and design, tools used in sewing, how to thread a needle, how to choose a thread and needle, types of patterns in sewing.

Day 2- To sew a straight stitch by hand, tie a knot, sew a button, sew mitred corners, and fleets, along with basics of measurements and cutting skills.

Day 3- Basics of the sewing machine, techniques of sewing, maintenance of the sewing machine, types of stitching like running stitch, lock stitch, cover stitch, overlock etc.

Day 4- Basics of embroidery and bag making

All the participants were given conveyance to reach the venue on time and were provided with lunch as refreshment on all 4 days. Centre for Ethics also conducted an old clothes drive within the Yenepoya University campus, to facilitate the training of the participants in tailoring.

Valedictory program

The valedictory program began with the “Samuha geethe” sung by three transgenders of the Mangalamukhi community. The song gave a strong message- “Live and let live”, which was well appreciated by the audience. This was followed by a Valedictory speech by Dr Vina Vaswani, Director- Centre for Ethics, and Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine. She spoke of the need to organize more such upskilling programs for marginalized individuals. She also introduced the Chief Guest Surumi Farhaad, Yenepoya and the resource person Dr Manjula Jagatramka. Dr Manjula shared her experiences of her 4-day mentoring at the upskilling program, and strongly motivated the trainees to advance their knowledge in the learnt skills. The transgenders from the Mangalamukhi community also shared their experiences and gave positive feedback on the upskilling program; they also expressed a great need to attend more such programs in the future.

Each one of them was awarded a completion certificate and a copy of the Constitution of India by the Chief Guest and resource person. Dr Naheeda Hamza delivered the vote of thanks. 

This unique initiative from Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) aims to provide hands-on skill-building training in sewing, embroidery and tailoring. Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) will also strive to identify small-scale enterprises where the skills of transgender people can find a market niche.

Anyone interested in knowing further details may contact Dr Vina Vaswani, Director, Centre for Ethics by email (bioethics@yenepoya.edu.in

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