India’s first online transgender channel launc hed

When Rachana Mudraboyina surfed television channels each morning, she found very little content about her community — transgenders. The Hyderabad-based transwoman activist, who holds two post-graduate degrees, did not despair. Instead, she decided to launch the first YouTube channel in India conceptualised and actualised by transgender individuals.

The channel, according to its makers, will provide accurate and scientific socio-cultural, religious, economic and political information relevant to them. Trans-vision will produce its web series in three languages — Telugu, Kannada and Dakhni, an Urdu dialect spoken in certain parts of the Deccan Plateau, including Hyderabad.

Rich palette of ideas

The channel’s programming, which includes launch videos that were released in the first week of September, reveals a rich palette of ideas executed by transgender people. For instance, Sonia Sheikh, a dancer and acid attack survivor from Hyderabad, will run a special series. In a video already released on YouTube in collaboration with Tap Music Records and another YouTube channel called Dalit Camera, Ms. Sheikh introduced ‘Alif-Sonia’asa programme that will provide “healthy education and right information.”

Anjali, another transwoman, will run a section of the web series named after the first four letters in the Telugu alphabet (‘A, Aa, E, Ee…Anjali’). Her programme asks the very basic question: ‘Who are transgenders?’ and seeks to address questions that are asked even less, including how many different identities constitute transgenders.

Jhanavi Rai will host ‘Akshara Jhanavi’ in Kannada to address misconceptions about transgenders.

Pilot episodes of the channel, which already has over 1,000 followers on Facebook and 261 on YouTube before its official launch on Saturday, will be relayed in Telugu, with English subtitles.

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