The last five years have witnessed some trailblazing transgender women breaking the fetters of societal restrictions, finding their voice and empowering themselves. From educating themselves to scaling heights, these five women and their achievements are big victories for inclusivity of the transgender community into the mainstream society.
Bishesh Huirem from Manipur scripted history in 2016. She went on to become the first Indian transgender woman to compete in ‘Miss International Beauty Queen’ contest in Pattaya, Thailand. It was the world’s largest and most prestigious beauty pageant where transgender women get selected to ramp walk and present their talents on a world stage.
Activist Akkai Padmashali, co-founder of the NGO ‘Ondede’. It works for the rights of women, children and gender minorities, was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2016. What made this special was the fact that she is the first transgender woman in the country who received this honour.
Akkai, hailing from Bengaluru, has been a strong voice for the sexual minority. Over the years, she has emerged as an inspiration in her battle against gender prejudice. The Indian Virtual University for Peace and Education at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan conferred her with the doctorate.
Sathyasri Sharmila (36) from Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu is the first transgender lawyer in the country. She is enrolled with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP). She envisions that more people from her community can serve in high positions across the country.
Atri Kar became the first transgender person from Bengal to take the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The 28-year-old had to fight two years of legal battle to do so.
Ganga Kumari, a 24-year-old transgender person, became the first from the community to join the Rajasthan police force. Ganga, who hails from Jalore district of Rajasthan, now stands tall as Rajasthan’s first and India’s third transgender person to join a state police force.
Being a part of the state police force has been a long battle for Ganga. After a two-year-long legal conflict, the Rajasthan High Court finally heard her plea. It ordered Ganga to be inducted in the state police force within six weeks.
More power to each one of them.