Disha Pinky Shaikh, a 33-year-old transgender from Ahmednagar, is in Shivaji Park to run a stall to sell books during the Mahaparinirvan congregation to observe Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary. The rains did play spoilsport on Tuesday; however, she hopes that Wednesday will be better. Disha is the first transgender to run a book stall during the event.
Along with the books on Ambedkar, Disha’s stall also sells books on gender issues. She says that the huge gathering of people at Shivaji Park should be exposed to gender issues along with books on Ambedkar’s teachings.
Every year on December 6 lakhs of followers of Ambedkar gather at the Chaityabhoomi to commemorate his death anniversary.
As memorabilia, they buy books on Ambedkar, Buddhism, and related issues from the stalls set up there.
Disha believes that it is because of drafting of the Constitution, in which Ambedkar played a vital role, that she is able to have some rights of her own. “I am drawn to Ambedkar and his writing on Buddhism. I don’t belong to the Buddhist faith; however, I like reading about the faith. I am the first transgender to have a book stall here and am hopeful that this will inspire others in my community,” said Disha.