Nand, 50, is one of several transgender women who have come to Sahara . In India, “hijras” or men living as women often survive by going around to businesses in groups to collect money. Nand left home at 15 and has been living this way ever since, in a community of three or four hundred.
In September 2006, Nand felt very ill with diarrhoea, a fever, and joint inflammation and was visiting the doctor all the time. The doctor did an HIV test, but only informed Nand’s nephews of the result. Nand saw the report by accident. Nand has seen many other transgender people who are HIV positive, since they look after each other. One patient said, “you’ll get a good rest at Sahara .” Nand is happy here because of the good food, regular medicine and kind treatment. She calls one of the directors “Uncle” and says “If people like Uncle are here, things are all right.” Also, Nand says, “My brother and sister come to visit me here. Before I would see them only on festivals, so our relationship has improved.”