The Incredible Story of a Trans Woman Who Became a Single Mother
Transgender activist Shreegauri Sawant has a striking personality and an unmistakable charm about her. Popularly known as Gauri Sawant, you will often find her at events in a crisp cotton saree, sporting a large bindi. While Gauri dons many hats, the one role she is most content playing is mother to 17-year-old Gayatri.
Gayatri was orphaned when she was all of 5 and had a bleak future ahead of her, till Gauri came into her life. Gauri took Gayatri under her wings and from then on, they developed a special bond. Gauri would do everything for Gayatri that a mother would. She would bathe her, cook for her, comb her hair, buy her new clothes and play with her. They enjoyed each other’s company.
For a long time, Gayatri used to address Gauri as ‘aunty’. However, the defining moment in their relationship came when the transition from ‘aunty’ to ‘mummy’ happened. Recalling that moment, Gauri says, “She used to call me aunty, and then one fine day, suddenly, she started calling me ‘mummy’. It was quite an organic transition.” Ever since, there has been no looking back for the two of them.
The fighter that she is, Gauri even tried to legally adopt Gayatri, but that didn’t happen. This, however, did not stop the mother-daughter bond between them from blossoming. Unwelcome stares, occasional taunts, questions she had no answer to - as a single mum, she took everything in her stride while raising Gayatri. Like every mother, she loves her child unconditionally.
Gauri knows it wasn’t easy and it won’t be easy, but her determination is what keeps her going. “Now, we’re like friends,” she says while fondly speaking about her relationship with Gayatri. The little girl she adopted is now a teenager all set to take on the world. But come to think of it, had Gauri not entered her life, Gayatri too would’ve become a victim of human trafficking, like so many other children around the world. It’s because of ‘mummy’ that she can dream of a good life and a bright future.
Gauri knows how vulnerable children like Gayatri can be. That’s why she has founded ‘Nani Ka Ghar’ to ensure that such kids have a safe upbringing and a productive childhood.
By raising an orphaned Gayatri as her own daughter, Gauri has changed the very definition of motherhood. Gauri’s life is full of bold decisions, but becoming a mother, was perhaps the boldest one.
This Mother’s Day, let us all take a moment to appreciate Gauri Sawant, the trans ‘mummy’ who defied every convention there is and showed the world that to be a mother, all you need is the ability to love unconditionally and nothing more. Not even gender.
(This story is part of #KohlerBoldStories - #KohlerBoldMoms, a Mother’s Day initiative by Kohler India and The Quint to celebrate the indomitable spirit of bold mums.)