Sahodaran founder appointed head of National Child and Woman Development Council

K. Sheethal, founder of Sahodaran, an NGO working with LGBTIQ communities, has been appointed Puducherry chairperson of the National Child and Woman Development Council (NCWDC), a not-for-profit organisation registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.

The NCWDC appointment is for a period of one year and her role involves raising awareness about rights among youth, students, workers and women.

“When I was offered the post before I was reluctant to take it up as organisational work is quite heavy,” said Sheethal who has undergone her own sexual reassignment surgery.

Since forming Sahodaran in 1998 — it was later registered as an NGO in 2003 — she has been in the forefront of advocating for the rights of the LGBTIQ population, with a particular focus on the trans-gendered individuals. Sahodaran has been organising safe spaces and providing peer group support for the members of the community through counselling, seminars and political activism.

“But, after consulting wellwishers, they urged me to take up the responsibility. Apart from the recognition that comes with it, the post I hope will also bring more respect to the community,” she said.

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