O Laila

Sanitation Changemaker

Transforming Transgender Livelihoods

O Laila's journey in Warangal, Telangana, has been marked by resilience and a relentless pursuit of an identity as a transgender individual. Forced to leave her native village early in life because of her gender, Laila chose to pave a path to empowerment and sought education as her path to empowerment. She holds a post-graduate degree and has played a pivotal role in educating transgender youth about the importance of education and work within her community.

O Laila envisions a world where every job is a viable option for transgender individuals, offering them the dignity they deserve. Her strong leadership and unwavering commitment led to the creation of the Modern Awareness Society (MAS), an NGO focused on addressing the challenges faced by the transgender community and urban poor. Since its inception in 2004, MAS has birthed seven transgender self-help groups in Warangal, a testament to O Laila's dedication.

Her relentless efforts earned her recognition when MAS secured a contract for operating and maintaining a community toilet in Warangal from the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) in June 2020. This achievement marked a significant milestone on the path to sustainable livelihoods and dignified lives for her community.

Having become a member of the City Sanitation Task Force (CSTF) of Warangal, which is groundbreaking for a transgender individual, O Laila has come a long way from being ousted from her community. She serves as a spokesperson for her community, advocating for dedicated toilets for transgender individuals and actively contributing to sanitation decision-making by GWMC. She continues to champion their cause and explore various livelihood opportunities across the sanitation value chain, driving positive change and breaking down barriers for the transgender community.