Shyamli’s Story

Shyamli, 30, is part of our hairdressing programme in Mumbai. As Shyamli is transgender, she has faced discrimination everywhere she has turned for a work opportunity. When she heard about Oasis India from a former beneficiary and approached the staff, they immediately enrolled her in the hairdressing programme. She was in disbelief that we took her in for the programme without any hesitation, as she was always rejected.

Shyamli’s mother was a sex worker, and growing up, she experienced sexual abuse and was bullied for the way she was. She began transitioning when she closely watched the women in the red-light area and wanted to be like them. Right before Shyamli joined the hairdressing training, she considered becoming a sex worker like her mother, as she could not get a job anywhere. She says that Oasis India was truly an oasis for her as the opportunity came at the right time or her life would have been different in the red-light area.

According to a study conducted by the National Human Rights Commission in 2018, 96% of transgenders are denied jobs and are forced to do low-paying or undignified work for a livelihood, like sex work and begging. The first-ever study on the rights of transgenders also revealed that about 92% of transgenders are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activity in the country, with even qualified ones being refused jobs. It is important that as a community, we work towards reducing inequality, especially in the workplace, and make work opportunities available for everyone, irrespective of their gender.

Shyamli has graduated from the hairdressing programme and hopes to find a job in a salon.

Previous reading
A Father’s Joy
Next reading
Priya breaks out of her shell

Dear friends and patrons,As 2022 draws to a close, I would like for us to look back at a year that heralded in new directions for Oasis India: year one of the 5-year strategic plan of new partnerships, a year of social enterprise, and organisational sustainability.While it was certainly challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong our commitment to the vision and mission are as an organisation – be it as board members, supporters, members of senior management, the national leadership team, or project staff.We can take pride in the fact that we resumed the annual Mukthi Bike Challenge this year, launched Oasis India’s 5-year strategic plan for 2022–2027, and started a new integrated community empowerment project in Assam—Oasis Academy Guwahati and Football for Life (FFL). We also initiated potential partnership discussions with PCI-Mizoram for anti-human trafficking and Thrive for Good under food security, etc. These great achievements lays the foundation for our work in the upcoming new year.There were notable life-changing stories of beneficiaries in each of Oasis India’s hubs and the many other challenges we overcame as a team. Successes achieved in a time when we were forced to adapt to very adverse circumstances So, I want to thank all our staff for the hard work and commitment they have shown over the past year. Our combined strength is what makes us flourish as an organisation.Thank you, our supporters, for walking this journey of growth and development hand in hand with us. As you celebrate Christmas with friends and family, I hope you will look back on the year with the same sense of accomplishment and joy that we all feel at Oasis India.I wish you and your family a happy Christmas season and a prosperous 2023! Best regards,Mangneo LhungdimExecutive Director,Oasis India