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UN lauds Khudol initiative in Manipur

Initiatives such as Khudol signifies that Manipur has been more accommodative to the transgender community than any other state amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

May 25, 2020 11:34 IST
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The United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth has mentioned Manipur’s ‘Khudol’ initiative in the top 10 global initiatives. Khudol has been lauded by the UN for its inclusive fight against the ongoing COVID-19 initiative.

Ya_All, an Imphal based NGO started Khudol which is a crowdfunded initiative. It ensures health, hygiene and food for LGBTQI+ community, daily wage earners, people living with HIV, adolescents, and children. The NGO has also been responsible for creating India’s first transgender football team.

Initiatives such as Khudol signifies that Manipur has been more accommodative to the transgender community than any other state amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Key Highlights:

•   As per UN Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka, the initiative with a network of 100 volunteers, has been able to provide around 2000 families and individuals with over 1000 health kits, 1500 condoms, and 6500 sanitary pads.

•   UN Envoy on Youth also acknowledged the work of Ya_All NGO that was founded in 2017. The NGO gained an appreciation for organizing mental health workshops as well as for founding Meitram which is a first co-working and networking space that is owned and run by the queer individuals in India.

•   Ya_All’s founder, Sadam Hanjabam stated that the acknowledgment from the UN wing will provide encouragement for working towards more inclusiveness. The founder also mentioned that they have been reaching out to the vulnerable sections online and offline from the past 50 days.

Why Khudol initiative is essential?

Manipur has been one of the few states that have been accommodating the transgender community amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown and ensured that they have not been put into quarantine centres for men.

As per the founder of Ya_All young people from the margins have been required to move to bigger cities for the livelihoods as there has been an absence of inclusive options in the state. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis added hardships to vulnerable young people.

The model of inclusive safe space was created by Y_All NGO that teamed up with Imphal West District Administration and the local Thangmeiband United Club to provide separate rooms and toilets for the transgender persons apart from a ramp for the differently-abled at a quarantine centre in Imphal’s DM College of Teacher’s Education.

On May 21, the State’s Social Welfare Department also opened up two dedicated quarantine centres especially for transgender persons. Chief Minister, Nongthombam Biren Singh also mentioned that the centres have been ready to receive the transgender people who have been stranded outside.

Highlighting the emotional security of transgenders during the ongoing pandemic, the Department’s Director, Ngangom Uttam Singh informed that it was essential to open separate quarantine centres for them. He also mentioned that the decision was taken after it was reported that the members of the community were facing inconveniences in sharing facilities with female and male inmates.

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