Commuters at the Miyapur crossroads were taken by surprise today when they spotted four transgenders - Sakathiya, M Saniya, J Renuka and D Gomathi - in air hostess uniforms and giving out road safety instructions to the motorists.
Whenever the vehicular traffic was stopping for a red signal, the four played a one-and-a-half-minute skit to a voiceover in Telugu emphasizing that the commuters wear seatbelts and helmets while driving.
The skit was played several times over a period of about one-and-a-half hour. While the transgenders were performing the skit, members of the Rotary organization held placards with various slogans and messages. They also distributed pledge literature.
The transgenders had come to the city all the way from Chennai. A team of three lady Rotarians from Chennai also accompanied them. The program was organized jointly by four Rotary Clubs - the Rotary Clubs of Miyapur, RC Puram, Greater Hyderabad and Smart Hyderabad - in partntership with the Rotary Club of Chennai Royals. It was the idea of the Rotary Club of Chennai Royals to use transgenders in air hostess outfits as traffic ambassadors.
The team came to Hyderabad as part of a campaign covering 9 cities - Dharmapuri, Tirupur, Palakkad, Kasaragod, Hubli, Bijapur, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Ongole.
"This is a very fulfilling experience," the transgenders said. "Transgenders are viewed in a bad light by society. We are happy to get associated with such a laudable effort. Wear seatbelts and helmets, and we will bless you."
The campaign is titled Royal Odyssey.
This is not the first-time that the Rotary Club of Miyapur has embarked on such a novel initiative. In April last year, it took up another novel traffic safety awareness program. They used Yama Dharma Raja and Chitragupta who served notices to riders driving without a helmet asking them to wear helmets and drive safely.