My name is Kalki Subramaniam, I am a transgender woman.
Due to the unconditional love and acceptance of my parents, I was able to complete my education with two masters' degrees. As a gender non conforming child, I had a difficult childhood, yet my family did not reject me. They embraced me unconditionally.Today I am an artist, activist, poet, performer and an entrepreneur. I also run an organization for transgender people called Sahodari Foundation.
Most gender non conforming and transgender people are abandoned and pushed out of their families, unfortunately they lose their education and remain school dropouts. Pushed to the very bottom of the society, their only income is from begging and sex work. Societal acceptance and a dignified life in their preferred gender is what they need. I can unquestionably say that education can change transgender people’s lives for the good, education change their destinies for better. Love, respect and a dignified living are what they need. I want them to have similar opportunities like me. I want to make their dreams true.
After going through difficult times, today, I am a performer, an artist, a poet, an activist, an entrepreneur and absolutely me. I have received many awards for my social work engagements and initiatives:
- Life time Achievement Award – Lioness club of Chennai – 2009
- Kokilavani Memorial Award - 2010
- Best Social Worker Award – Kannadhasan Kalai Mandram - 2011
- Gold award for acting performance in the transgender themed feature film ‘Narthaki’. - 2011
- JCI Outstanding Social Worker Award, Puducherry – Junior Chamber International – 2013
- Dinamalar Newspaper 'Penniyam' Award – 2013
- ‘Penn’ award from ‘Plus Dream makers’ - 2014
- BornToWin award for film performance - 2014
- Best Poet Award from BornToWin - 2015
- Achievers Award from Coimbatore Lawyers Association - 2015
- Achievers Award from Coimbatore Transgender Welfare Association - 2015
- Nominated by L'Oréal Paris and NDTV for ‘Women of Worth’ award 2016
The above images are paintings that can be purchased through the rewards segment of the campaign. (Click to claim) If you are using a mobile phone, please log into your laptop to view the paintings and their dimensions clearly
- Official guest of the United States of America as a Human Rights Activist through IVLP and honoured in the United Nations Office in New York city - 2010
- Recognized by Facebook Inc. as one of the 12 most Inspiring Women on Social Media working on community development - 2015
God has gifted me with artistic talents. Being one of the first transgender artists in India, I am using my artistic talent to raise money for education initiatives of underprivileged and often homeless young transgender people. I don’t believe in getting anything for free. That is the reason I decided to raise funds by selling my paintings to support the education of underprivileged transgender people.
You and I, together we can change their destinies for a better life.
I am raising INR 2,00,000 for making that big step to change their lives. 60% of the funds raised will go to the betterment of the following four transgender persons who need your backing:
- Lalitha Anburaj, Tuticorin – Lalitha, a transgender person from a very poor background, studies nursing course. Her father, who was blind, passed away three months ago leaving the family without support. Lalitha's mother works as a housemaid. Lalitha needs financial assistance to continue her further education
- Mythreyi, Madurai – Mythreyi was rescued from sex trafficking and forced sex work. She failed in Chemistry in 12th standard. She wants to complete her schooling and pursue higher studies.
- Kotravai Natchiar, Madurai - Kotravai was rescued along with Mythreyi from sex trafficking and forced sex work. She has completed her 12th standard and wants to pursue law.
- Anu, Mangalore - Anu is a graduate, rejected by her family because of her gender identity, she lives with her friend in Mangalore. She doesn't want to succumb to begging and sex work. She works hard to live a respectable life. She needs support for continuing her Master's degree and her transition.
The remaining 40% of the funds will go for the sustainable support of my art practices.
- I will be investing in all the necessary art materials like acrylic, oil and watercolor materials, canvas, handmade paper and other stationary required to produce more artworks.
- More art means supporting more people. I will be able to help more under privileged trans people by making more art.
- Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person's attitude, emotional state, pain perception and fear to one of hope, positivism, creativity and inspiration. I will be able to conduct workshop sessions for the disadvantaged which will lay the foundations for transformation and healing.
- I will be able to travel and take my art to people worldwide by organizing exhibitions, art workshops and participating in art festivals.
You can change their lives forever. The support you offer will open the doors for a better life through education so that they will live with dignity and self confidence. Your gesture will change their destinies forever. Make the change today.
Risks and challenges
- Many applicants prefer to be anonymous because of being discriminated and for safety reasons.
- While we take the maximum protection to send the artworks and rewards well packed and sealed, sometimes rain or natural disasters may spoil it. Let’s be positive and hope nothing of that sort happens.
1. How do you identify people who need support?
Being an activist and serving the community for more than 8 years, I I am approached by transgender people for counseling, support and guidance. I also have a good network of fellow activists and social workers who identify the needy and recommend to me. I interview them. I decide a person as a beneficiary only after interviewing them many rounds and confirming that the person really needs support.
2. Will you be supporting more people or is this a onetime campaign?
I will continue to support more people through more artworks and more campaigns.
3. What would you do with any excessive funds available?
All excessive funds will be invested in backing the education of more disadvantaged transgender people and invested in creating more artworks.
4. I want to own more of your water colours and acrylic paintings to support your initiative. How is that possible?
I am committed to help more people. I will bring more artworks in the second campaign. However, you have the choice to buy my artworks from my art shows or by writing to me.