New Website of Srishti Madurai Launched

The New website launch of Srishti Madurai was held at Chennai during Aravindan Neelakandan's "இந்திய அறிதல் முறைகள் " (Indiya Arithal Muraigal) Book Launch by New Horizon Media on 6 March 2016 at CP Art Centre, Alwarpet.

The Introduction to Gopi Shankar was given by writer Aravindan Neelakandan, renowned Ambedkarite & Dalit Scholar Mave (Ma. Venkatesan) launched the website in the presence of  Badri Seshadri & Haran Prasanna of NHM, Oagai Natarajan of, Solvanam Ravi Shankar, Uthra Dorairajan HOD Physics of DG Vaishnava College, Writer Shanthini Devi Ramasamy.To our surprise Honorable Central Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping in Narendra Modi's cabinet Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, BJP State VP Vanathi Srinivasan, Writer Joe D Cruz and many attended the event.

Actress Vishakha Singh sponsored the website and Anuj Omar and Sandesh B Suvarna (IBM employees) designed the website.
Few Participants from AV's book launch (SG Surya BJP, Susan TOI, Gopi Shankar Madurai, Santhi Soundarajan, Vanathi Srinivasan BJP, Writer Joe D Cruz are seen in this picture PC: Haran Prasanna)

Santhi Soundarajan received Inspirational Young Women Leader Award.

Gopi Shankar Madurai receiving the Award on behalf of Santhi & SMISA

Champion Athlete Santhi Soundarajan, the first Tamil Woman to won a medal at Asian Games was conferred "Inspirational Young Women Leader Award" along SMISA (Srishti Madurai International Sports Academy) by the World Women Leadership Congress (WWLC 2016) at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai on Feb 17 2016. Gopi Shankar Madurai received the Award on behalf of Santhi, women leaders from more than 60 countries took part in the event. Indira Rangarajan All India Radio Mirchi programming head was also awarded along with Santhi.

Award Citation presented to Santhi Soundarajan

Gopi Shankar Madurai was awarded "Diversity Leadership Award".

Gopi receiving the Diversity Leadership Award

The World HRD Congress 2016  conferred Diversity Leadership Award on Gopi Shankar Madurai, the award ceremony was held at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai on Feb 15 2016. Along with Gopi the other awardees are Pallav Patankar, Sonal Giani from the Humsafar Trust, Transwoman Manabi Bandhyopadhyay (1st Transgender College Pricipal from West Bengal).

Gopi with Vishakha Singh

Actress Vishakha Singh one of the committee member of Srishti Madurai attended the event and supported Gopi's visit to Mumbai and wished him.

Award Presented to Gopi Shankar Madurai

Butler's"Gender Performativity" Explained - Hannah BUSY PHD STUDENT

Srishti Madurai 5 years in my eyes - Akssar Chandran, Student, Kendriya Vidyalaya Madurai

Today people are no stranger to the works of SRISHTI Madurai. SRISHTI is known for its instrumental work in addressing issues related to gender and sexual orientation. The amount of work done by SRISHTI makes one think of it as a well-established organization which may be running for a long time. But the reality is quite astonishing. 

SRISHTI in fact has very humble beginnings at the American college just about four years ago. SRISHTI was started by Mr. M.Gopi Shankar and his fellow college students on 2nd September 2011. It is a student body which has worked for the LGBTQIA community in Madurai and its surroundings. Despite all this SRISHTI doesn’t identify itself as an organization. And it justifiably differs on a lot of grounds from a regular NGO. 

For starters SRISHTI is self-sufficient, unlike other welfare organizations SRISHTI is not dependent on the donations. SRISHTI is funded by its various member who contribute, for instance the founder, Mr. M. Gopi Shankar, taught Yoga to contribute to SRISHTI. Furthermore SRISHTI does not act like a commercial office where people do social work as an occupation. The members of SRISHTI in fact have their own occupations through which they aid SRISHTIand its activities. 

The member of SRISHTI believe that every drop of water contributes to the ocean and hence contribute every bit they can. SRISHTI is its members and its member are SRISHTI. Such is the way the organization works, by helping oneself and the people around them, the whole society can be bettered. This does not mean the work done by SRISHTI is small, it is in-fact world class. SRISHTI has organized several events and programs for the community at a global standard. They have organized Asia’s first genderqueer parade which was a success at the very first attempt with participants coming in from far and beyond. SRISHTI has also organized a unique film festival screening movies regarding sexual orientation. 

SRISHTI has also recognized other activists and writers with awards for their contribution. SRISHTI has also devised programs for education on gender and sexual orientation and carried out the same in various educational institutions. Through this programs SRISHTI has been able to spread awareness on this topic which is still considered a taboo by many. 

The biggest achievement of SRISHTI can be said to be the fact that it has been able to do all this in Madurai, which is considered to be one of the more conservative towns. In-fact with the help of SRISHTI Madurai has become more open minded than many of the metro cities in the acceptance of gender queers. The standard of work done by SRISHTI is made very high with the help of several luminaries including Ms. Anjali Gopalan and Dr. Bracha Ettinger who have constantly supported SRISHTIsince its inception. The hard work of SRISHTI’s membersworking as a self-less team has been a key factor for its humongous success. SRISTHI in fact has done work at quarter the time and money taken by other well established NGOs. 

Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in this world”, SRISHTI is proving to be that “much needed change” that this world requires.


The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014: attendees from Srishti Madurai at Rajya Sabha session are Gopi Shankar, Anandi Yuvaraj (UNAID), Kamalini Mukherjee (Research Scholar, JNU) at Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Parliament of India.

This Bill provides constitutional rights to all people, and ensures equal rights opportunity for all. This historic bill was unanimously passed, the first private bill to be passed in over 40 years. It's a pathbreaking bill which will pave the road for a better inclusive society. Why is this bill important? This bill is crucial for our country because it incorporates not only transwomen, but also transmen, non-binary, genderqueer and all gender minority persons, into the national mainstream. It would also set up a national commission (state and central) for the entire transgender community to include all those identities. We personally thank DMK MP Tiruchy N Siva, for inviting us to the Rajya Sabha and for courageously pressing forward to pass this bill. we are excited for the incorporation of the other gender minorities, which would open opportunities for any gender minority person to be reinstated in the society. 

Gopi Shankar Madurai with Anandhi Yuvaraj infront of  Rajya Sabha after wittnessing the bill 

Recently, we have had the first private member bill to be passed in the last 36 years.
Something that has troubled me, is the fact that many large international organisations have taken credit for this.

I know this cannot be true, because the Transgender Rights Bill 2014 has been drafted by a brilliant young 21 yr old woman called Anuvindha, working as a L.A.M.P. (Legislative Assistant for Member of Parliament) Fellow, who is assisting Trichy Shiva DMK MP. This has been acknowledged by Sri Shiva himself.

I want to thank Trichy Shiva for inviting me to witness the proceedings of the passing of the Transgender Rights Bill 2014 in the Rajya Sabha.

As a genderqueer person, I was very proud to witness this historic moment at Parliament. The main reason for the passing of the Bill unanimously, was only because of MP Trichy, and Arun Jaitley's timely intervention. It is so sad to see International organisations like UNDP and International HIV/AIDS Alliance are stealing the glory of this historical moment, claiming it to be their efforts paying fruit. But it is actually all the effort of Anuvindha and MP DMK Trichy Shiva. They are the only reason behind the success of the passing of the Bill.

On April 24th 2015, Trichy Shiva DMK MP tried to pass the draft of the Transgender Bill after the discussion in the Rajya Sabha. 

I personally witnessed
the Speaker asking MP Shiva to withdraw the bill. Three times he pressed for the draft to be considered as a Bill in his personal capacity,
MP Shiva talked about people being treated worse than animals.
"Transgender people are paying taxes, they have the right to vote, so why shouldn't they have all other constitutional rights?"

The House was quiet, and nobody was reacting.

Once again, the Speaker asked "Mr Shiva are you going to withdraw the Draft?"
To which MP Shiva just said "I want to draft it as a Bill."

Most people were quiet.

Then Trichy Shiva suggested that they divide the house.

Around this point in the discussion was when Arun Jaitley arrived.
After noticing the proceedings of the House, he decided to speak in favour of the Draft. Among other things he said "Beyond politics we must support this cause."
It was his involvement at the right moment, which helped with turning the House around and bringing everybody in favour of the Bill.

The importance of this Bill is that it is not only for Transwomen, but also for Transmen(FTM), Genderqueer, and all other gender minorities.

I am sad about the ignorance of a few Transwomen in Tamil Nadu, who proclaim that this bill is only for Transwomen, and has been passed only for them.

There are many other important individuals who have worked towards the empowerment of the Transgender community, that cannot all be mentioned in this comment.
All of them are the reason behind the sensitisation of Transgender issues in our society.
But even they cannot take the credit.

All the credit goes to Trichy Shiva and Anuvindha.

It is very sad, and shameful, to see such big organisations like UNDP and International HIV/AIDS Alliance behaving in ways like this.

**This post is not meant to hurt anyone**

(Posted by Gopi Shankar on Facebook on April 26 2015, Transcribed by Ruhena Rehman)