In solidarity with and at the request of local queer and trans community organizers in West Bengal, India we are inviting international allies to support trans communities in West Bengal during the COVID-19 crisis.
India's 1.3 billion people have been ordered on a 21-day lockdown in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, a measure which is creating dangerous ripple effects for more marginalized individuals, including those with reduced access to wealth, housing, and information. Police in West Bengal reportedly beat an individual to death who went out to buy milk last Wednesday. The trans community in West Bengal is already especially susceptible to both police brutality and housing insecurity. We are calling on international allies to lend support to ensure that trans folks in West Bengal have access to housing, food, and security during this especially challenging time.
Local organizers are fundraising ₹1500000 (roughly CAD$27,800) in order to provide 250 trans folk in West Bengal, each with a monthly living package of ₹2000 (roughly CAD$37) for the next three months. We seek to raise CAD$10,000 from international donors toward that goal.
Even as we all face this crisis in our own communities, it is imperative that we share resources where possible, including across international lines. The Canadian dollar and many other international currencies can go a very long way in West Bengal and so international support stands to make a significant impact.
(This GoFundMe has been set up to accept international contributions to the "Support West Bengal Transgender Commununity During the COVID-19 Crisis" fundraiser. Those in India (or with Indian credit cards, etc) can contribute on the original fundraising page. Funds will be transfered directly to the organizers in West Bengal via paypal at the end of this partnered fundraiser)
Here are some words from the local organizers in West Bengal
"Samabhabona (Baishamya Durikaran Samiti) is a registered trans led organisation working with trans rights since 2013. We are in collaboration with other trans led groups in West Bengal, such as Moitrisanjog Society, Coochbehar, ASRAI (Baruipur) and Dinajpur Notun Alo Society trying to raise help our community tackle starvation and economic crisis during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought upon uncertainty for all of us. The lockdown has no definite end in sight and the transgender community who can no longer go out to earn have been hit very badly by this pandemic. Please join us in ensuring that they are at least able to get basic food necessities and essentials for the next coming months.
- A monthly package of Rs 2000 to 250 trans persons in West Bengal.
- This will be for the months of April, May and June 2020.
- The money will be given to the community partially in the form of rations and essential goods, and partially in cash.
- We are prioritising especially older trans persons who are living on their own, or are homeless and unable to provide for their own sustenance.
- The initiative will be taken by 4 organisations; Samabhabona, Moitrisanjog Society, ASRAI, and Dinajpur Notun Alo Society.
- The regions cover include Kolkata, South 24 Parganas, Railway line from Sealdah to Budge Budge, Baruipur, Coochbehar, Alipur Duar, Islampur, Dinajpur and adjoining areas of North and East parts of West Bengal.
Please do help with whatever you can."
- Urvi Kumbhat
- Nina Pariser
- Nina P
- Rashmi Dixit