Shreegauri Sawant aka Gauri Sawant is a transgender activist from Mumbai, India. She is the director of Sakhi Char Chowghi that helps transgender people and people with HIV/AIDS. She was featured in an ad by Vicks. She was made the goodwill ambassador of Election Commission in Maharashtra.
|Real name||Ganesh Suresh Sawant|
|Other Name||Gauri Sawant|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 175 cm
in meters– 1.75 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 9”
|Date of Birth||22 July 1980 (Tuesday)|
|Age (As of 2023)||42 Years of 2023|
|Birthplace||Bhavani Peth, Pune, Maharashtra|
|Relationships & More|
|Children||Daughter– Gayatri (adopted in 2008)|
|Parents||Father– Suresh Sawant (police officer)
Mother– Name Not Known (died when Gauri was 7 years old)
|Siblings||She has an elder sister.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Shreegauri Sawant
- Shreegauri Sawant is an Indian transgender activist who is known for being the director of Sakhi Charchowghi Trust.
- Gauri was the second child of her parents and was born after 10 years of her elder sister. Gauri’s mother did not want a second child, and she even thought of aborting Gauri in the seventh month of her pregnancy. However, doctors denied the abortion in the last stage of her pregnancy. During an interview, while talking about the same,
- Gauri further shared that in childhood, she used to play games like ghar-ghar and teacher-teacher with girls in her locality, and she never liked playing football or cricket. She said,
- During an interview, she shared a memory of her childhood. She said that when she was 10 years old, one of her aunts asked her what she would like to become when she grew up. Gauri replied that she wanted to be a mother. Everyone present there laughed at her and said a boy could never become a mother.
- While she was in school, her classmates used to make fun of her for her feminine gestures. One day, her principal called her father to share that the principal had noticed some feminine traits in Gauri. Gauri’s father got very upset over this and started ill-treating Gauri. He even stopped talking to her. In an interview, Gauri shared how her father used to behave with her. She said,
- By the time she was a teenager, Gauri was aware of her sexuality, but she did not have enough guts to talk about it with her father. She used to dress up like her grandmother when no one was at home. Once, her family member found that she was wearing a bra under her t-shirt. This made his family members very angry, and they started keeping an eye on her activities. They even asked Gauri to keep the doors open while urinating.
- At the age of 17, Gauri decided to leave his home. One day he ran from his home in Pune to Mumbai with Rs 60 only. In an interview, she talked about leaving her home. She said,
- Gauri then went to her gay-turned-trans sex worker friend and lived with him for 2-3 days as she did not have any accommodation in Mumbai. She did not want to work as a sex worker or beggar, so her friend asked her to meet the social workers of ‘Humsafar Trust,’ an LGBTQ organisation. During an interview, while talking about the same, Gauri said,
- While she was working with ‘Humsafar Trust,’ she met various Indian social activists like Ashok Row Kavi, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, and Kanchana (Gauri’s guru maa). Gauri then decided to transform herself into a hijra or third gender. She then changed her identity from Ganesh to Gauri. The social activist Ashok Row Kavi then suggested her to start a trust for the welfare of transgenders. In 2002, Gauri started Sakhi Charchowghi Trust aka Aajicha Ghar and became the director of the trust. The trust then aligned with the Mumbai District Aids Control Society. Since then, Sakhi Charchowghi Trust has been helping transgenders and sex workers by providing them with HIV testing camps, free condoms, and social awareness camps.
- In an interview, Gauri shared that even after so many years of her transformation into hijra, her family did not accept him. She said,
- In 2008, Gauri adopted a girl child Gayatri whose biological mother died of AIDS. Gayatri’s grandmother wanted to sell her to sex-trafficking people, but Gauri asked her to take money from her and hand over the girl to her. Gauri received huge criticism for adopting a girl being a transgender. In an interview, she talked about it. She said,
- In 2009, Gauri filed an affidavit in a court for the legal recognition of transgenders in India. Her appeal was forwarded by the Indian NGO ‘Naz Foundation.’ She even petitioned with help of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). After hearing her plea, the apex court of India passed the transgender law. In 2014, she filed a petition for the ‘right to adoption by transgender’ in the Supreme Court of India. She has also worked for getting the basic rights of transgenders and making the third gender eligible to apply for Aadhaar cards. During an interview, she shared that earlier, she used to face many difficulties for not having a birth document as her family abandoned her. She said,
- Gauri has also helped in providing shelter to trans people who are abandoned by their families. After the biological mother of her adopted girl died of HIV AIDS, Gauri decided to work for the welfare of HIV-infected people.
- Apart from this, Gauri has been actively involved in various activities for the welfare of animals.
- In 2017, the adoption story of Gauri was featured in the YouTube video ‘Vicks- Generations of Care.’ The video turned out to be a life-changing experience for her. She gained immense popularity with the video and people started recognising her. During an interview, while talking about the same, she said,
- Gauri is a huge fan of the Indian singer Usha Uthup. In an interview, she shared that Usha was her crush since her childhood. Gauri used to like her dressing style, especially her bindi style. In 2017, Gauri and her favourite Usha Uthup appeared as guest contestants in the Hindi TV show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati.’
- In 2019, Shreegauri Sawant was appointed as an election ambassador of Maharashtra along with 11 other members. Gauri became the first transgender to be elected as an election ambassador in India. During an interview, while talking about her appointment, she said,
- Gauri has also been invited as a guest speaker at TEDx Talks at various events.
- She has authored a book titled Manav Sansadhan Vikas. In 2019, the Indian author Rhythm Wagholikar published a book on the life of Gauri titled ‘Gauri The Urge To Fly.’
- She has also hosted one of the seasons of the Marathi talk show ‘Gharo Ghari Matichya Chuli.’ The show was aired on TV9 Marathi.
- Gauri has received various awards and honours for her contribution towards society.
- She has also represented the transgender community at various fashion shows.
- In 2022, the Indian actress Sushmita Sen uploaded a post on her Instagram in which she shared that in her Hindi web series ‘Taali,’ she would portray Shreegauri Sawant.