Eunuchs welcome Tamil
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 1, 2007
Eunuchs welcome Tamil Nadu Government move to assure their basic rights
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Eunuchs welcome Tamil Nadu Government move to assure their basic rights

Eunuchs holding red coloured balloons and umbrellas, walked through the streets of Koovagam in Tamil Nadu on Monday to welcome the State Government's move to assure their basic rights.

Koovagam, (Tamil Nadu), May 1 : Eunuchs holding red coloured balloons and umbrellas, walked through the streets of Koovagam in Tamil Nadu on Monday to welcome the State Government's move to assure their basic rights.

The State Government had recently passed an order providing for their free healthcare and education.

The DMK-led coalition Government is also mulling over whether to legalize and introduce free sex re-construction surgery at state-run hospitals.

Eunuchs, however, said more measures are needed for them to gain social acceptance.

"They are making houses for us and they are giving us free operations. But for the present generation, we are demanding more. There is a lot of discrimination. In schools, boys' tease us by calling us eunuchs. These types of problems should not arise," said Subikha, a eunuch.

There is no official estimate of the eunuch population in India, but unofficially the number is pegged at around 500,000.

They normally make a living by collecting cash "gifts" from people on auspicious occasions like weddings, the birth of a child, or a religious event.

Koovagam is located about 200 kilometres from Chennai.A festival called "Aravan", held annually in April-May, is the time when the eunuchs rededicate themselves to the service of their deity.The festival of Aravan signifies the cultural high-point of the eunuch community. They get married to a mythological character of the same name.

According to Hindu mythology, Aravan was a character in the celebrated epic Mahabharata and was sacrificed for the victory of the Pandavas over the Kauravas.

Aravan, who was seriously injured during the 18-day battle, wished that he should be married prior to his death. Since no woman would consent to marry a dying man, Krishna took on a female form and married him.

Lord Krishna donned a widow's garb and, the next day, Aravan was sacrificed.

Koovagam is the only place in the country where a temple has been built in memory of Aravan.

ANI

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