The Indian transgender is known as the Hijda, Kinnar or Irravani .
The strange anomaly of this community is that all are biological males, unless a few those who are born as hermaphrodites or eunuchs.
So the question of the increase in growth of Hijdas by birth is not possible, yet the community is growing in leaps and bound, boys questioning their sexuality, openly, join the Hijda force, due to various personal reasons, economic factors, mixed genitalia, deformed genitalia, feminine attributes..
In Northern parts of India being born a girl is a curse, because of the rampant dowry system, where the girls family about to be married has to given into the demands of the bridegrooms family, than comes burning of the brides if the dowry is not sufficient, bride harassment, so most of the time the girl child is killed at birth, a kind of mercy killing, you read it everyday in the newspapers.
Now in such circumstances if a child is born with deformed genitalia, the conservative poor parents , bought up on superstition , consider the birth of this child a curse, they will throttle the child, but mostly the Hijdas who are aware of such genetic disorder births take custody of the child in collusion with the maternity ground level staff..
I was at the All India Hijda Sammelan a conference of transgender , hijdas eunuchs
held recently at Park Site Vikhroli Mumbai.
I had visited the place for the first time; in spite of a valid Press Card I was not given permission to enter and shoot pictures , till the event manager a social worker Mr Santosh Shetty considering my background as a social photographer , gave me the required permission.
Eunuchs don’t like to be photographed can turn violent and smash your cameras, as they feel you rob their soul.
It was here at this conference for the first time I saw the eunuch born child, Mona.
Mona was born with a defective genitalia problem and was handed over to the Hijdas the same night she was born. Fortunately she was adopted by a very beautiful Hijda mother Babita and a normal male father Gopal Hajji who heads the Hijda community in Delhi.
Mona is about 8 years old , normally she looks like a boy, full of fun, mischievous , but once she took to the stage for a show by the Hijdas she was transformed into a Hijda princess, and perhaps she has her life cut up for her. Her foster parents are very rich, and her adopted sister is a eunuch too.
I thought this backdrop was important for you to know the ethnicity of the Hijdas, a very closely banded esoteric group..Pictures of Mona can be seen with her parents on my home site..
She is Mona the hijda child
Neither a girl nor a boy
Born with defective genitalia
Handed over to the Hijdas
The same night she was born
By her superstitious parents
It was the curse, a stigma
She this little bird
With clipped wings had no choice
Silence of the human species
Androgynous anomaly no voice
She will grow up as a Hijda
With dancing feet a rare
Flourishing beauty with poise
She is a breath of revitalizing fresh air
For the Hijda ethnicity they rejoice
I look at her with fatherly grace
My eyes see hope tender care
Turn moist..a burden of
A travesty of human neglect
Crass superstitions social stigma
That sanctimonious society
This unflagged error of judgment
I met Mona the child eunuch again at Ajmer Sharif with her parents at the Urus of Khwajah Moinuddin Chishty Sufi Saint and Hijda place of Pilgrimage second after
Koovagam Koothandavar in Villupuram in Chennai, where the Hijdas gather marry
Lord Iravan the Hijda diety an avtar of Lord Krishna , who dies in the night and in the morning the Hijdas turn widows , cry weep, break the bangles , and a funereal scene prevails..
You can see the German film” In Between Lines” in which my Hijda Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi has played the main role with the backdrop of Koovagam.