Undeterred by COVID-19 losses, transgender person starts mobile tea shop in Chennai

The mobile shop sells coffee, tea and snacks and also provides employment to others in the community

The COVID-19 pandemic may have snatched acting and other earning opportunities from L. Preetisha, a 33-year-old transgender person, but she did not get bogged down. She has now opened a mobile tea shop to earn a living and also to provide employment to others in the community.

A resident of Virugambakkam, Ms. Preetisha is currently pursuing a programme in theatre and drama from the Tamil Nadu Open University. Prior to the pandemic, she was an acting trainer and has acted in movies such as Pambu Sattai, Veeraiyan, Vellai Yannai and Ayngaran and has worked with actors such as Keerthi Suresh and Samuthirakani. She was also a theatre artist.

Along with her husband G. Premkumaran, a transman, she started a tea shop in Virugambakkam and they worked as food delivery agents as well. “During COVID-19 everything fell apart and we had to close the tea shop too. I used to earn around ₹25,000 per month through acting and all these business ventures,” she said.

With her funds drying up, she has now started a mobile tea shop called Magizham fresh shop with help from the Born2Win Social Welfare Trust. “Recently, I took tea in a flask and sold it in Koyambedu and I earned a decent amount. This inspired me to start a tea shop in an autorickshaw. The initiative was launched by director Samuthirakanni recently,” she explained.

“Ms. Preetisha has also given employment to two transgender people in the shop. This is a great gesture,” said C. Swetha, founder, Born2Win Trust.

Coffee, different types of tea and snacks are sold at the mobile tea shops.

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