Songs sung by transwomen from different part of the country are part of a new music album brought out with the aim to provide such people a platform to showcase talent and break stereotypes.
"The idea was conceived to break the stereotypical portrayal of transgenders in the mainstream. Transgenders are known to sing in a particular fashion and at special occasions in India and our perception is limited to that. This is an attempt to give transwomen and transgender people a chance to showcase their talent, their creativity and express themselves in front of the world," says Anubhav Gupta, Director, Jeevan Trust.
Gupta says he conceived the idea executed jointly with Abhivyakti Foundation with support from a international organisation called PlanetRomeo Foundation.
The album titled "Caravan" claims to be the first collection of songs by transwomen. "The fact that these people can sing and sing very well will be established when you will hear the songs. Even films have a way of stereotypical way of portraying them. The main idea is to promote music irrespective of gender. Music itself has no gender,"says Gupta.
Nine transwomen from 9 states recorded 13 songs in the album giving it a pan India flavor. The album comprises folk songs, self composed poetry, Rabindra Sangeet among others. Participants hail from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds having fought the societal stereotypes they have now established themselves in business or professional fields. Many of them are activists having travelled widely all over the world to promote the rights of transgenders.
"Akkai Padmashaili from Karnatka, Amitava Sarkar from West Bengal, Ankur Patil from Gujarat, Kalki Subramaniam from Auroville, Kanta Leisinghatham from Manipur, N Madhurima from Andhra Pradesh, Kalyani from Mumbai and Hansa from Rajasthan. One the key pointers of the project is that Almost all 5 out of 9 participants hold a degree or diploma in music either in Hindustani vocal, Carnatic vocal or Rabindra Sangeet which was an eye opener for all of us," said Gupta.