Traditional Sambalpuri melodies of Odisha and rap music have come together to give three transgender women the means to protest against rising unemployment in the country.

Just in time for election season, Madhu, Sarita and Nandini have made what is being hailed as the country’s first rap song sung by transgender women. The trio from Balangir collaborated with Mumbai-based rapper RcR to make Hatt Saala, the video for which was directed by award winning documentary filmmaker Shankhjeet De.

The song is in the form of a dialogue between the three women, in which they blame lawmakers for “yojna pe yojna (schemes upon schemes)” that never solve the problem. The rap lyrics express frustration at having degrees and diplomas but not a job.

De, who came up with the concept, told LiveWire that every government blamed the youth for the unemployment problem, when in fact, it was the lack of opportunities. “The video was an effort to give a common voice to the two (transgender community and youth),” he said.