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First-of-its-kind home for transgenders to come up near Chennai, other cities to follow

In a huge relief for the transgender community, a first-of-its-kind home, spread across 3 grounds(7200 square feet) that would offer shelter, livelihood training, support and care is to come up within a year at Poonamallee, in the outskirts of Chennai city. This is the first in the series of homes that are being planned in…

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In a huge relief for the transgender community, a first-of-its-kind home, spread across 3 grounds(7200 square feet) that would offer shelter, livelihood training, support and care is to come up within a year at Poonamallee, in the outskirts of Chennai city. This is the first in the series of homes that are being planned in other Indian cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Tamil Nadu has had a vibrant transgender community where many are employed as lawyers, police officers, doctors, television personalities etc. However, when it comes to shelter there aren’t many facilities available to them. “We usually hire rooms on a rental basis and there are time restrictions as well. While there are a few homes provided by the government for our community, they are relatively small and house the elderly transgender people and also serve as learning centres for the younger members of the community. But our new home will have three buildings and can accommodate over 150 members. We will be having the bhumi-puja and foundation stone laying within 20 days and hope to have it ready for occupation within a year” Jaya, transwoman and General manager of Sahodaran, an NGO that works for the LGBTQ community, told WION.

The home is aimed at supporting the teenagers who are ostracized from society and shunned from their own homes after their sexual identity is revealed. “During our youth we found it very difficult to find a place to stay, we couldn’t continue our studies and were often misled. For the coming generations, a home like this would make a huge difference and can prepare them for the challenges of life. Not only can they continue their education, but they can also be imparted skills such as dance, handicrafts, sketching etc. They can stay at home until they feel they can live independently. We intend to make it open to transgenders from across India” said Renuka Devi from Snehidhi, an organization that works for the community.

The home is not just meant to include transgenders, but would also have two additional buildings for children and the differently-abled, who would be cared for by the transgenders. “We transgenders can’t have children but will raise them there and take care of them like our own. This would be the first of its kind facility, where we would be able to take care of children and the differently-abled. We would be abled to live a peaceful life here as there are no fixed limits to how long we can be here. Most homes have a limit of three months, but here we allow people to stay until they feel they can sustain on their own” Priyanka, a transwoman and cultural team leader at Sahodaran told WION.

The idea of the home had come up during a discussion between Tamil Actor Raghava Lawrence and Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar during the filming of Laxmmi Bomb. Lawrence was speaking to Kumar on his Charitable Trust that has been initiating various projects for education, home for kids and the differently-abled. “Our trust is now entering into its 15th year. So during Laxmmi Bomb shoot I was talking to Akshay Kumar sir about the trust projects and transgender’s home, immediately after hearing this without even me asking he told he will donate 1.5 cores for building transgender’s home” Lawrence who is directing the Akshay Kumar-starrer, posted on Facebook.

“Ever since his film Kanchana, actor Raghava Lawrence has interacted with the transgender community and his perception has changed. Lawrence offering us the land and Akshay Kumar helping with the funds for construction is the largesse and kind-heartedness of a group of people who believe in our work. When our people went to meet Akshay Kumar in Mumbai, they just wanted to express the challenges faced by the community, but he handed a cheque without batting an eyelid. Full credit to Raghava Lawrence for helping the transgender community and also reaching out to Akshay Kumar to get the work going in full swing” Sunil Menon, the founder of Sahodaran told WION. 

Laxmmi Bomb is an upcoming Hindi-language comedy-horror film written and directed by Raghava Lawrence in his Hindi directorial debut. It is a remake of the Tamil film Muni 2: Kanchana and stars Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani.

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Tamil Nadu govt issues new testing guidelines for all incoming travellers, amid spike in coronavirus COVID-19 cases

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In view of the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, considering the risk of increased transmission given the high number of inter-state, inter-district travellers (based on government-issued E-passes) and ongoing repatriation of Indian nationals from foreign countries, the state government has issued a new set of guidelines for testing incoming travellers.

So far, nine persons who had landed in Chennai via Vande Bharat repatriation flights had tested positive for the coronavirus. While there is a sharp spike in cases over the last week, the state government has permitted a gradual return to normalcy. This has meant that private companies and most standalone shops are open in all non-containment zones of the state, as per stipulated timings and social distancing norms.

Persons from other countries: All persons to be tested on arrival and if tested positive the individual(s) would be admitted in a hospital. In case of a negative result, they will be kept in government-provided institutional quarantine/hotels (on a paid basis). A follow-up test would be taken after the initial 7-day quarantine, and if that result is also found negative the person/s can be sent for home quarantine for the next 14 days. 

Persons from other States/Union Territories: 

Tests will be conducted on all persons coming into Tamil Nadu from all states and Union territories. In case of a positive result, they would be admitted to hospitals. In case of a negative result, the passengers would have to be under government-provided institutional quarantine facility for 7 days (for persons coming from hotspot states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi). After 7 days if they display no symptoms, they can be sent for home quarantine for 7 days, or they can continue in government quarantine if they do not have facilities at home to be under quarantine. 

Persons from non-hotspot states who test negative may be sent into a 14-day home quarantine or institutional quarantine (in case of facilities are not available at home).

Persons travelling between Tamil Nadu’s districts: Testing to be done only for those coming with symptoms, all individuals to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

Exemptions: 


* Terminally ill patients, individuals requiring immediate medical attention in a hospital 


* Persons who are due to attend the funeral and ritual associated with the death of an immediate family member


* Pregnant women 


* Elderly persons over the age of 75 years and requiring assistance 

All the above categories claiming medical emergency will be subjected to check up by a medical team to confirm the emergency. Relaxation will not be given for any other category. Persons who seek an exemption in the above categories must submit full detail along with their representation in advance to concerned authorities. 

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Avalanche hits Indian Army post in north Sikkim, soldier missing

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Sikkim

  A soldier went missing after an Indian Army post was hit by an avalanche in North Sikkim on Thursday.

SIKKIM:  A soldier went missing after an Indian Army post was hit by an avalanche in North Sikkim on Thursday.

According to reports, am Army patrolling-cum-snow clearance party of 17-18 personnel was hit by snow slide in the Lugnak La area of Sikkim on Thursday.

Except for one soldier, all others trapped under snow had been rescued, the Army said.

“A patrolling-cum-snow clearance party, comprising 17-18 soldiers, came under snow slide. All recovered except one soldier. Intense search is in progress,” the army said.

In a similar incident earlier, Lance Naik Sanjeeva Reddy, who was operating a dozer in the snowbound high-altitude areas of Sikkim, was hit by an avalanche on April 11.

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Maharashtra government likely to extend lockdown till May 31 amid rising cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in state

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In view of the increasing cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to extend the lockdown till May 31, said sources on Thursday. However, the government’s decision will be officially announced within a couple of days.

A two-day meeting of the ministers of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress reviewed the situation arising out of the deadly virus in the state. Simultaneously, there was a discussion on extending the lockdown and bringing the economy back on track in a phased manner in the state.

According to sources, in the meeting, it was agreed to extend the lockdown. Also, it was decided to relax the areas which are not in the containment zones, but the areas which are in the red zones will not be given any exemption. 

Extending the lockdown doesn’t harm the state’s economy, so business establishments and industry businesses may be given a conditional exemption to start their operations in areas where coronavirus has little impact.

It is worth noting that the first lockdown in Maharashtra began on March 25, just like the entire country. The second lockdown began on April 14. The third lockdown began on May 3, ending on May 17. After this, the fourth phase in Maharashtra can be from May 18-31.

Significantly, Maharashtra is the most coronavirus infected state in the country. On May 13, the number of coronavirus positive patients in Maharashtra increased to 25,922. By evening, the death toll from coronavirus in Maharashtra had risen to 975. As far as Mumbai is concerned, by the number of coronavirus positive patients stands at 15,747. At the same time, a total of 596 people have lost their lives from coronavirus in Mumbai.

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