Nerul: Dr. Devangi Vakharia, chairperson of the Inner Wheel Club, District 314 graced the Ashwini Naphade – led Inner Wheel Club, New Bombay Seaside’s first transgender led Dancing Queen show at the Terna Dental college auditorium, here in Navi Mumbai on February 17, as the chief guest.
Dancing Queen, a professional transgender – dance troupe, founded by Abina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode in 2009, highlights the ethos and struggles of the transgender community through the medium of dance, spreads awareness about the community and gives them a chance to express themselves.
Urmi Jadhav, one of the founding member, along with the troupe presented a range of enthralling dances on songs that included lavani, gondhal, koli, patriotic and bollywood numbers. Nargis gave a scintillating guest performance of belly dance on demand by the audience of IWC members and guests.
Dr. Devangi Vakharia commended the IWC of New Bombay Seaside for organizing this path-breaking initiative to include the transgender community as an integral part of our society, blending the narrative of their lives through such programs for inclusivity with other genders. She also highlighted the social initiatives of IWC, District 314, particularly the village adoption program from the community center at Saphale village in Palghar district in this golden jubilee year of the IWC District 314.
Ashwini Naphade informed that the funds raised during this silver jubilee year of IWC New Bombay Seaside will be utilized for the medical, education, vocational training, skill development and welfare of the transgender community. She added that the community is generally known for begging at traffic signals, prostitution or badhais in slums, but the dancing queens are changing this perception. The IWC of New Bombay Seaside appeals to be empathetic to the transgender community and include them in our regular activities, stated Ashwinikumar.
Anupama Eashwaran, ably anchored the program informed that the Dancing Queen troupe had done 115 shows all over India and one international show in Sweden last year. She added that the troupe has depicted through dance, so very well, the heartache of being discriminated against particularly by one’s own kith and kin, the joy of acceptance by family and the dances in between.
Urmi Jadhav and her co-dancers reflected the passion and zeal in heart, mind and body to roll out spell binding performances, dance after dance, untiringly for over two hours. The audience too responded in equal fervor.
The IWC of New Bombay Seaside project proved that dance is not just an art, but a great forum for social justice and inter-gender understanding, sensitivity and relationships. The backdrop of the stage told it all – It takes three to tango, let us come together for an inclusive society, a magical experience with Dancing Queens.
The skill, efforts and sensitivity of Shekhar, the choreographer, was evident in every dance presented, that exemplified the spirit of overcoming odds of discrimination, the I-can belief and creating tangible change.
Stating that the Supreme Court of India recognized the third gender in a landmark judgement inApril 2014, Ashwini Naphade admitted that people are yet unaware about the aspirations, lives and struggles of the transgender community in India. She expressed satisfaction at the club’s endeavor in taking a small step to create that awareness and sensitize the community at large about these concerns of the transgender community.
With the enthusiastic assistance from Ritu Mittal, the project co-ordinator, Sharmila Rai Jain, the convenor and the sponsors, including some club members, IWC of New Bombay Seaside accomplished a worthy social initiative.