Shree Gauri Sawant

: Transgender Activist, Social Worker, Vicks Mom

Gauri Suresh Sawant was born as Ganesh Suresh Sawant, a male child. Early on, she realized she was different and ran away to Mumbai to seek her identity. Her journey from Ganesh, which incidentally, is the name of a god who helps overcome obstacles, to Gauri, which is the name of the goddess known to be gentle and nurturing, was a passage through fire. Gauri would not allow herself to be pushed into begging or prostitution.  With the help of a guru, she decide to educate herself.

She found her calling in social service and after finishing her education, began working with Humsafar Trust, an NGO that promotes LGBT rights.

Gauri went on to set-up Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust in Mumbai, an NGO that works in the area of AIDS prevention and promotes safe sex among transgender people.

In 2014, she became the first petitioner in the Supreme Court of India, in a case that sought to recognize transgender people as the third gender.

She is also the first recipient of the Vicks #TouchofCare fund, with the help of which, she is building a home for ostracised and abandoned children, called  Aaji Cha Ghar (Granny’s Home).  She also became the hero of the Vick’s #TouchofCare video and subsequent PR campaign that told the touching story of her relationship with daughter Gayatri.

Currently, if she is not obsessing over Aaji Cha Ghar, she can be found fussing over another daughter, Sayli, who she rescued from a garbage bin.