Inclusivity is something that cannot be taken for granted in this day and age. Thanks to Kerala’s Kudumbashree Matrimonial Services, the state’s sexual minorities are also about to get the recognition that they deserve.
Matrimonial websites have been a part of Kerala’s wedding culture for a long time. Yet, somehow a significant portion of our population was left out from the services offered by these websites.
This is the problem that Kudumbashree Matrimonial is trying to overcome, by featuring profiles of sexual minorities on their website.
What Is Kudumbashree?
Kudumbashree was a self-help program that took form in Kerala, in the year 1998, as an initiative to help women ‘save’ for the future. The community-driven initiative grew soon enough, and now it has become a lifeline for so many women, who were previously struggling to leave a mark of their own in society.
Kudumbashree Matrimonial was thus one among the many initiatives that the self-help group had launched over the years. After its launch in 2016, it didn’t take much time for the project to gain momentum.
Now, the service has offices across 11 districts in Kerala, which means barring the 3 states of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur, Kudumbashree Matrimonial is practically spread all across the state.
All For Inclusion
Although matrimonial websites have been catering to various groups for so long, it wouldn’t take much effort to notice that there’s no space given to the LGBTIQ community.
Even in Kerala, top matrimonial sites have so far advertised massively for their services provided to Nairs, Menons, Christians and a whole other range of communities. Yet, sexual minorities like the transgender community have never been mentioned by these sites.
It is in this context that Kudumbashree’s new initiative warms our hearts. As the organization’s State coordinator Sindhu Blan rightly points out, it is “an attempt to bring these vulnerable minorities to the mainstream.”
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Good News For Transpeople
Kudumbashree’s step towards inclusivity will begin with discussions held with LGBTIQ collectives and other community-based organizations. This will be followed by the addition of an extra section dedicated for transpeople in the matrimonial site.
The community meanwhile is thrilled to say the very least. Apart from opening the prospect of finding a suitable partner, this also conveys the message that they are also a part of the society that has so far looked down upon them.
Mahi, a transperson feels that the whole circle of “exploitation, humiliation and betrayal when it comes to relationships,” is going to change.
Surya and Ishaan K Shaan, the first trans-couple from Kerala who had a legal wedding, is all for the initiative as this goes a long way in terms of acceptance in society. They believe that the difficulty transpeople face in formalizing their marriage would change once such changes are brought into effect.
A World Beyond Binaries
Inclusion begins where our prejudices end. What Kudumbashree Matrimony has done for these sexual minorities may seem like a small step, but it is a very significant one.
There’s miles to go before we witness a sea of change and that’s why this small step from Kudumbashree is one that deserves a bow!
Image Credits: Google Images
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