A transgender woman living in India, who was once abandoned by her family, has adopted six girls and a boy with hopes of opening an orphanage to care for more children, Pink News reported.

Growing up, the woman who goes only by the name Manisha, noticed that her life was different from her peers. While at school, she was bullied and would return home only to be locked away by her parents so that she wouldn’t tarnish the family's honor. Eventually, when Manisha was five years old, her parents left her to fend for herself.

“My parents abandoned me,” she said. “And for days, I had no food or milk. At that time I vowed to myself that I would become a mother one day. I would love those who had no mother or father. I would become their mother and father.”

The adoptive mother spent time on the streets, finding whatever way possible to stay alive, before she was later taken in by another transgender woman. Now, she is determined to care for the children in her village so they don't have to worry about their next meal or a place to sleep.

“I can understand the pain of not being loved and cared for. So, whenever I come across an orphan, I take that child home with me,” she told Gaon Connection.

Most of the children in Manisha’s care were orphans whose parents were unable or unwilling to raise them.

According to Pink News, one of Manisha’s adoptive children is also transgender, while the youngest is a 7-month-old boy who lost both his parents.

“There is one kid whose parents died,” she said. “Thakur Dadas dosed him with alcohol, abused him, and dumped him. He was bitten badly by ants. I then admitted him to Bandana Hospital. I didn't have any money but the doctor waived off most of his fees, asking that I take care of [the boy].”

According to Brut Media, Manisha is referred to as a “kinnar,” which is a term used for transgender people in India. In 2014, India’s Supreme Court ruled that a third gender would be used to identify non-binary and trans people in the country. 

Manisha earns a small wage by singing and dancing at celebrations like the births of children, according to Pink News. She also raises livestock to help support her family. But times have been particularly tough given restraints due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, the mother is committed to raising her children in a safe environment with the necessary resources.

“There are kids like this abandoned, kicked out of their homes. Some talk about killing their child. The way I have been hurt, if I see an orphan or a child that has been abandoned, I will be a mother for them and raise them,” she said.

Manisha said she aspires to open a home for orphans in the future and is determined to see her dream come to fruition. 

“I wish to open an ashram for the orphan children so that more children can get care and support. I have contacted the leaders and officials several times for the ashram,” she said. “Let us see when I will be finally heard. Meanwhile, I will continue to bring home any orphan I come across.”

If you would like to help support Manisha in her life’s work, call The Better India Group at (758) 726-7222.