Shreegauri Sawant is an Indian transgender activist who is known for being the director of Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust.Gauri is the second child of her parents, and she was born 10 years after her elder sister. Gauri’s mother did not want a second child, and she even thought of aborting Gauri in the seventh month of her pregnancy. However, doctors denied the abortion in the last stage of her pregnancy. During an interview, while talking about the same, Gauri said, My mother didn’t want me to come into this world and even tried to get an abortion in the seventh month. But the doctor told her that this baby was now so evolved and strong that one couldn’t destroy her even if she were slammed against a wall. It was into such yes-and-no back-and-forth circumstances that I was born, so I also turned out with an equally confused gender identity.”.In the same interview, Gauri shared that in childhood she used to play games like ghar-ghar and teacher-teacher with girls in her locality, and she never liked playing football or cricket. She said, I didn’t feel like a hijra or girl, but I knew I had some unusual traits. I would always make friends with the girls, and never played with the boys. I loved to play ghar-ghar (House) with the girls—plucking leaves from the ajwain trees and cutting them into little rotis with the cap of a Thumbs Up and so on, collecting sing-dana and pretend boiling them in the cooker—I enjoyed it all so much! I would get yelled at about this a lot at home. But I never changed.”.During an interview, while sharing a childhood memory, Gauri said that when she was 10 years old, one of her aunts asked her what she wanted to become after growing up. Gauri replied that she wanted to be a mother. Everyone present there laughed at her and said a boy could never become a mother.While she was in school, her classmates used to make fun of her for her feminine gestures. One day, her principal called her father to share that the principal had noticed some feminine traits in Gauri. Gauri’s father got very upset over this and started ill-treating her. He even stopped talking to her. In an interview, Gauri shared how her father used to behave with her. She said, When he would come home, I would quickly rush to the bedroom. He used to not see my face. It was not his fault. My behaviour was so effeminate that anybody and everybody would make fun of me, calling me names. Dad would fire bullets at work and come home to a son that everyone made fun of. He was not always like this. When I was young, like every other father, he would take me on bike rides and love me equally. But there has never been any discourse in my family about sexuality, gender etc; they were not sensitised at all. Once, my father told me, ‘Tu road pe taali bajaate ghoomega’. It hurt me a lot. This other time, when I called him for some work, my ‘hello’ itself was different, so he told me, ‘Kya hijre jaisa baat karta hai’ (why do you talk like a eunuch?) So, I never answered the phone when he would call.”.By the time she was a teenager, Gauri was aware of her sexuality, but she did not have enough guts to talk about it with her father. She used to dress up like her grandmother when no one was at home. Once, her family members found that she was wearing a bra under her t-shirt. This made her family members very angry, and they started keeping an eye on her activities. They even asked Gauri to keep the doors open while urinating.At the age of 17, Gauri leave her home and ran from her home to Mumbai with only Rs. 60 in her pocket. In an interview, while talking about leaving her home, she said, I had 60 bucks, and knew that a train comes from Chinchwaad that passes through Pune and drops us to Dadar in Mumbai. I went to Siddhivinayak as it was Tuesday, and had the two laddoos I got for prasad as lunch, and in the evening, I had ragda pattis at Dadar station. I couldn’t eat that, and the boy who served me water brought the glass with his finger inside it, and I couldn’t drink that! There was a tap somewhere in a canteen I found, with rice and food stuck to it, which I drank from.”.Gauri then went to her gay-turned-trans sex worker friend and lived with him for 2-3 days as she did not have any accommodation in Mumbai. She did not want to work as a sex worker or beggar, so her friend asked her to meet the social workers of ‘Humsafar Trust,’ an LGBTQ organisation. During an interview, while talking about the same, Gauri said, I wasn’t pretty or fair enough to get into sex work, so she never offered me a gig there. But she fed me and cared for me, and later, I was introduced to Humsafar Trust (one of the oldest LGBTQ organisations in India). By the grace of god, I never had to beg. I was a pansy, not a gay. I was a hijra. I wanted to do something for the transgender community. I wanted to work with underprivileged kids and open a shelter home for transgenders.”.While she was working with ‘Humsafar Trust,’ she met various Indian social activists like Ashok Row Kavi, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, and Kanchana (Gauri’s guru maa). Gauri then decided to transform herself into a hijra or third gender. She then changed her identity from Ganesh to Gauri. The social activist Ashok Row Kavi then suggested her to start a trust for the welfare of transgenders. In 2002, Gauri started Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust aka Aajicha Ghar and became the director of the trust. The trust then aligned with the Mumbai District Aids Control Society. Since then, Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust has been helping transgenders and sex workers by providing them with HIV testing camps, free condoms, and social awareness camps. The Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust.In an interview, Gauri shared that even after so many years of her transformation into hijra, her family did not accept her. She said, Aaj 20 saal ho gaye, mere family ne mujhe apnaya nahi. I worked for a while in a shelter for children, because I like being with children, but they had a problem, when I identified my gender. The Father (who ran the shelter home) sent me away. Insaan chand par pahunch gaye, par hum gender me phase hai (On one hand we send people to the moon. On the other, we are still trapped by our gender) Women haven’t got their 33 per cent reservation. What about us? Hamara number kab aayega? (When will our turn come?)”.