Since 2015, when the Indian government decided to officially recognise the transgender community as the third gender and grant them rights and entitlement, the community — which has been marginalised, stigmatised, ostracised and been subject to violence — has attained a new sense of empowerment. And while this legal move opened up some occupational opportunities for the community, there are many professional spheres which can incorporate inclusivity and diversity, such as that of film and entertainment.
It all started with a tweet on October 27, 2018, in which the Mumbai-based independent filmmaker, Faraz Arif Ansari, asking for help from his “Twitter Fam” to help him “cast the leading lady of my first feature film Sabr”. He wasn’t just looking for any candidate, though. He wanted a transwoman actor. Although some trans models auditioned, they didn’t meet the requirements of the character. It’s this lack of transgender actors in the Indian film industry which prompted Ansari to hold TRANSAction, a free acting workshop, especially for the members of the LGBTQIA+ in association with the Keshav Suri Foundation, an organisation whose mission is to “embrace, empower and mainstream the LGBTQIA+ community.” I attended the first of the three-day long course to experience the initiative and observe the impact it would leave the participants with.
Headquartered in New Delhi, the company opened its first hotel here in 1988 under the dynamic leadership of Founder Chairman Mr. Lalit Suri, who spearheaded the Group’s unprecedented expansion plans.
Rapid expansion and consolidation of its leadership position continues under the enterprising stewardship of Dr. Jyotsna Suri, who took over as Chairperson & Managing Director in 2006.
All hotels within the group operated under the brand The Grand – Hotels, Palaces & Resorts. It was re-branded as ‘The LaLiT’ on November 19, 2008 as a tribute to the company’s Founder Chairman Mr. Lalit Suri.
The company offers twelve luxury Hotels, Places & Resorts and two mid market segment hotels under The LaLiT Traveller brand offering 2261 rooms.