Published: 23rd February 2021
How this 16-year-old's poetry book will help uplift the transgender community in Delhi
A 16-year-old poet and author from Gurugram, Saranya Bhattacharjya shares why she had the idea of compiling her poems into a book and how that will help the transgender community
"When I was young, I was kind of scared of interacting with transgenders as I didn't know much about them or wasn't completely aware. When I met them, I realised that they are a lot like us — I got to know how they lead their lives, why they feel discriminated against when they should be treated as equal human beings," shares Saranya Bhattacharjya, a Class 10 student from Gurugram, about her initial experience with the transgender community. This changed when she began working with the Mitr Trust, which has been working towards providing support and opportunities to transgenders for the past two years. Experiencing the plight of the community during the pandemic, Saranya wanted to make a larger difference in their lives. The 16-year-old studying at The Shri Ram School in Moulsari, released a book of poetry last month, the proceeds of which are all being donated to the Mitr Trust to help the transgender community survive during this time of crisis.
Saranya at the Mitr Trust
Saranya's poetry book is called Clash with Reason and it is available on Amazon and leading bookstores at `499. The idea of compiling her poems into a book was born during the lockdown. "Transgenders don't have access to the same resources, jobs that we do, the pandemic made it even worse as they couldn't get basic necessities like food and medicine. It wasn't easy for them at all to survive during this time. I tried to raise funds along with my friends and help them but soon I realised that that was not enough. To make a bigger difference in their lives, I had to do something larger. That's how the idea of the book came about. I decided to contribute to their well-being in whatever way I could, to make their working and living conditions better. They don't deserve to be treated unfairly or differently," shares Saranya.
Her poems in the book are also accompanied by elaborate artworks created by her friends. "I wanted to include my friends in this as they would then understand what my poems convey and they would link to that to create the artwork. The book was released last month. Whatever we have earned until now has been transferred to the Trust, the book is still available on Amazon," she adds. This is Saranya's first book but she wishes to write more. Her poems in the book are not about a single specific topic but about various stages of her life growing up as she developed as a writer. "The main message of the book is about inclusion. I started writing because I felt excluded, it's about the importance of belonging and being included in a community," says the 16-year-old poet and author.
Saranya's tryst with writing began at the age of nine years when she was a victim of bullying at school. "I had an issue of hormonal imbalance, gained a lot of weight because of that and was bullied in school as a consequence. Writing became my safe haven and since then, I have strongly felt about exclusion. It was always more than just a hobby for me, it was a way to express myself. It's been a huge part of my life. I also have a blog that I've been maintaining since I was a kid," she recalls. Saranya wants her generation to understand the transgender community and the fact that they are equal. She wishes to take up Psychology or Mass Communication in college, she concludes.