Bengal’s Atri Kar, First Transgender to Take UPSC Exam in ‘other’ Category

Bengal's Atri Kar, First Transgender

A 28-year-old Atri Kar will become the first transgender person from Bengal to take the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). With this, she has overcome two years of legal hassle.

She can now fill up the 2018 application form offline.

Though a Supreme Court decision in 2014 made it possible for transgender people to apply for education and employment under the ‘other’ category, the policy had not been implemented everywhere.

She fought at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for two years. Kar got an interim order from the CAT’s Calcutta bench on February 27. Following this, she was allowed take the exam as an ‘other category’ candidate.

Also: In A First, Pakistan To Send Transgender People As Haj Volunteers

Currently, Kar is employed as an English teacher at Ramnagar Primary School. She had to fight a similar legal battle to be eligible for the West Bengal Civil Service Examination.

“That had also continued for two years. When I took the examination this January, I was the first transgender from Bengal applying in the ‘other category’,” she said.

In 2017 Kar had tried to fill up the UPSC forms. At that time, she was against applying under either the male or female category.

“The order from the National Legal Services Authority in 2014 had clearly stated that transgender should be treated as the third gender and proper reservations should be extended to them. What is frustrating is that at every step, we still need to move court to be even enrol ourselves in the ‘other’ category,” Kar said.

A private coaching centre had agreed to sponsor Kar’s education so she could clear the civil services exams. But the problem was that Kar couldn’t apply in the ‘other’ category. That’s when Kar moved court.
“But in 2017, my case was dismissed because someone allegedly sent a message, trying to convince the judge. However, though I was not involved, I had to accept the court’s judgment,” she said.

This year again, the advertisement dated February 7 only had the male/female options. Not one to give up easily, Kar moved court again.

Picture Credit: IndiaTimes


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