This is excerpt from an original article on The Print.
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 21: In honor of the LGBTQ+ Pride Month, 'Reach Lives', a Bangalore-based NGO has launched an outreach program to support transgender communities residing in Bangalore.
The initiative, which commenced in early June, aims to help community members explore and access alternatives to their current livelihoods, which have been identified to be both fragile and vulnerable to abuse by the UNDP.
'Reach Lives' is a subsidiary of the Anora Charitable Foundation and aims to serve the underprivileged by providing access to quality healthcare, nutrition, and vocational education. Through their transgender outreach program, they seek to understand and deliver on the perceived needs of these communities through a sustainable plan of action.
Speaking on the outreach program, Dr Victor Mohan, Co-Founder & CEO of Reach Lives, said - "With the second wave of the coronavirus bringing another round of stringent lockdowns, large communities of trans-persons, in the lower socio-economic strata, were left without a source of income. Combining this with the fact that June is recognized as the LGBTQ+ pride month, we were motivated to take action, and do our part by providing the basic essentials these communities would need to tide over the remainder of the pandemic."
Over the course of the month, the team at Reach Lives has been organizing outreach events, sourcing and distributing ration and health kits to members of the transgender communities, equipping them to get through the remainder of this pandemic.
These kits are valued at Rs 500 and Rs 800 per kit and are expected to be of significant help to these individuals as much of their sources of income has been adversely impacted by COVID-I9. Additionally, Reach Lives has also procured and supplied pulse-oximeters, thermometers, and other medical equipment to the heads of the communities they reached.
Mini Mohan, Co-Founder & CFO at Reach Lives, stated, "Our initiative first kick-was started in early June, interacting with the communities in North Bengaluru. Since then, we have been expanding our coverage to the rest of Bangalore, as well as isolated pockets of trans-persons in areas like Chikmagalur, who have personally reached out to us for help. So far, we have supported over 500 individuals from these communities, and we hope to have reached over 1000+ trans-persons in need by the end of June."
In addition to catering to trans-person communities with affordable and accessible healthcare, the team at Reach Lives also aims to recognize and understand the fragility of their current professions, and source of income. Through this initiative, they intend on providing consistent support to help bring about sustainable growth within these communities, even post COVID.
To help facilitate this project, Reach Lives has partnered with various Bangalore-based non-profits to help drive success to the initiative. This includes 'Bangalore Food Bank', their nutrition partner leveraging partnerships with corporates and food providers. With regards to the trans-community outreach, IFBN (India Food Banking Network) has served as a major donor, and through the Bangalore Food Bank, has helped reach an additional 100 trans-persons.
Additionally, Reach Lives is also working closely with the Dream India Network, to identify trans-persons who are seeking help in finding alternate employment opportunities, upskill them and place them in suitable, sustainable employment.
Sharing her thoughts on the inspiration behind this initiative, Dr Senneil Gomes, Co-Founder & Director of Communications at Reach Lives said "Ever since our inception, our sole purpose and reason for being was always to help support marginalized groups in urban and rural South India. As a group of doctors, having witnessed the first-hand catastrophic effects of delays in seeking health care in terms of health outcomes and costs, we were inclined towards focusing our efforts on providing for communities that are often overlooked. Recognizing, and honoring the LGBTQ+ pride month, we aim to do the slightest bit we can to support these underprivileged communities, and hopefully move forward in our journey of improving the overall health status of our country."
Among their many initiatives, Reach Lives is also currently developing a plan to help support underprivileged communities who struggle with access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Foreseeing this to be a sizeable problem, they will be working with these communities, identifying and clarifying concerns that they have, while also organizing outreach events that will bring vaccines to their localities.
Through their initiatives, the team at Reach Lives aims to further expand to additional communities in need across South India and beyond.
Read the full article on The Print.