Television actor Ashish Sharma, who has played a transgender in a short film titled 'Khejdi', has urged society not to be discriminatory against the community.
"Since childhood, we have been told to stay away from transgenders. Whenever we encounter trans people, we get afraid of them. Why? It's all because of our upbringing. We all should realise that they are also human beings. They also deserve love, care and acceptance," said the 34-year-old actor.
'Khejdi' is an adaptation of a short story 'Sanjha' and has been penned and produced by him and his wife Archana Taide. After getting screened at Kashish International Mumbai Queer Film Festival, the film also opened Germany's Homochrom Film Festival on Tuesday.
Humbled by the response, Ashish said, "I worked for more than two years on this film and now the movie is doing so great. I feel blessed, and it feels great to see my work getting appreciated at international platforms."
For Ashish, 'Khejdi' is a milestone project as by doing the film, he feels he has improved not only as an actor, but also as an individual.
"By portraying the role of a transgender, I realised how many hardships do these trans people have to face in life. Stepping into their shoes made me understand them. The film changed my perception and made me more human and sensitive. Also, many films have been made on them, but what is needed now is to break the stigmas attached to them and create awareness among people," he added.
Be it his role as a gangster in 'Gunahon Ka Devta' or an army officer in 'Rangrasiya', Ashish, who is known for playing diverse roles on television, also spoke about content of daily soaps.
"Today, it is a great time for Indian TV. The content of Indian TV shows has evolved over a time. From fiction to non-fiction, crime to love story to mythology, you will see all types of shows on the small screen," he said.
Commenting on shows which promote superstitions among the audience, he said, "People are watching them and they believe in them. That's why such shows are being made. It's vice versa... If the audience does not like to watch them, then there will be no such shows. But somewhere there are large number of people who believe in superstitions."