By Aamir Bashir @Aamir_Here

BEING transgender in India is no easy matter - with trans people regularly coming up against intense prejudice, including verbal and physical threats

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But in the face of that hostility, a group of trans models have come together in Delhi to create a new calendar celebrating their unique community.  

Opportunities for transgender people to enter the field of mainstream modelling are scarce

With very few opportunities available for transgender people to enter the field of mainstream modelling, the group decided to take a more DIY approach. 

Rudrani Chettri, 28, who organised the calendar shoot, said: "Transgenders are treated very unfairly in this country. There is very little available for us. 

"So a couple of years back, we decided  to form a group where we could encourage and support each other. 

Picture Perfect: Alex who is known as 'Mona', gets ready for a photoshoot

"We organise the shoot of this calendar every year. Since no one in the modelling circuit gives us any opportunities, this is the only way we can showcase our talent."

The fashion world has embraced the transgender community in recent years, with trans supermodels Andreja Pejic and Lea T achieving global fame for their catwalk prowess.  

And the calendar models hope that the venture is the first step towards their acceptance by wider Indian society. 

Rudrani Chettri, 28, who organised the calendar shoot is fighting prejudice in her country ...
... and poses in a skimpy gold outfit

Alex Mona, 24, a transgender model who aspires to make it to Bollywood one day, said: "Nobody can foretell how far will this attempt go at breaking the social norms which are overloaded with prejudices against transgenders and the LGBT community. 

Talent: Transgenders Alex or 'Mona', 'Noori', Rudrani Chettri Chauhan, 'Khushi' and 'Sneha'

"My dream is to become a successful actor. But I know that it will be difficult. I will not give up at any cost."

Noori, another aspiring transgender model, added: "I started knocking the doors of modelling agencies five years back. They never gave me any work.

 

Mona poses to support trans people regularly coming up against intense prejudice

"They make you feel so unwanted. So this calendar shoot is the best platform we have got." 

Strike a pose: a group of trans models have come together in Delhi to create a new calendar celebrating their unique community

And Chettri says that the trans models are starting to generate a wave of supporters. 

"People are recognising our work. We are on the right path and it just a matter of time before we are known for our talent," he added.