A transgender woman who was abandoned by her parents as a young child has become a mother to nine orphaned children.
Manisha, who lives in the Indian town of Pakhanjur in Chhattisgarh, says she takes in orphaned children so that they will never have to suffer the same pain of abandonment she experienced as a child.
Manisha has so far adopted nine children, mostly girls. “I can understand the pain of not being loved and cared for. So, whenever I come across an orphan, I take that child home with me,” she said.
Supported by her team, Manisha looks after their food, clothing, and studies.
Manisha was abandoned at birth by her parents when they found she was born intersex. “Intersex persons are born with an anatomy that doesn’t match typical male-female anatomy. Most infants born with ambiguous-looking genitalia are considered intersex, and in most cases, parents, overwhelmed by shame, abandon intersex babies,” according to Gaon Connection.
“When my parents came to know that their child was a kinnar (intersex person), they abandoned me. A kinnar raised me. I yearn to reunite with my family even today, but they do not.” Manisha told the news outlet.
Manisha knew she was different from a young age and was cruelly ostracised for it. At school, she was chased away by other children, and at home, her parents locked her indoors so she wouldn’t “malign” their honor.
Then one day when she was just five years old, they left her to starve.
“My mother and father abandoned me at a very young age,” she said. “I had a tough childhood and I spent many days without food. I vowed to myself that when I grew up, I would take care of other children who did not have a family.”
Manisha was taken in by another transgender woman and now extends the same kindness as a mother herself.
Her ultimate dream is to build an orphanage of her own so she can give as many children as possible a safe roof over their heads.
“I never had my mother’s love, or my father’s. I don’t remember getting any affection from them,” she told Brut.
“There are kids like this abandoned, kicked out of their homes. Some talk about killing their child. The way I have been hurt, if I see an orphan or a child that has been abandoned, I will be a mother for them and raise them.”