At a busy New Delhi intersection, Kummi knocks on car windows and begs for money – the only job she says she is qualified for in India, where stigma denies transgender women like her education or employment. Male-to-female transgender people, also known as hijras, often beg, sell their bodies for sex or extract money from families celebrating the birth of a child or a marriage by threatening to curse them with infertility or bad luck. “I never went to school or college. I have no skills to do much else … this job gets me by,” said Kummi, who goes by one name, and makes about 5,000 rupees ($70) a week, having never attended school after running away from an abusive home. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher sometimes, sometimes a nurse, sometimes a tailor. But maybe in another life,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, wearing a sari, make-up and jewelry.
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