HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Transgenders celebrate first victory in battle for recognition

Sneha Agrawal, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 20, 2014
First Published: 10:24 IST(20/4/2014) | Last Updated: 14:53 IST(20/4/2014)

Transgenders across the city converged at Jantar Mantar on Saturday to celebrate the recognition of the community as a third gender.

“It was my years in school that exposed me to the humiliation that people from transgender community faced in the country,” said Sunil, a eunuch also known as Sonia, at the gathering.

Recalling her childhood she said, "I was in class 6 when I was forced to have sex with my senior. After this incident, getting raped behind the shut doors of a classroom along with physical and verbal assault became a regular affair. Despite having strong family support, the matter was hushed due to the fear of being ousted by society."

Watch: Transgenders celebrate first victory in battle for recognition

Sonia’s story is more or less what almost all transgenders faced in their childhood.

Having to earn a living as a sex worker, Sonia said: "If the government can provide us with jobs and help us earn the respect in society, then I would be the first one in my group to stop working as a sex worker. However, we have been hearing such things for many years now. I am not sure how well the law would be implemented."

After years of waiting and especially after the reimposition of section 377 (criminalisation of homosexuality), this landmark verdict came as a pleasant surprise to the transgender community.

Transgenders from across the city had gathered to listen to Laxmi Tripathi, a transgender activist and be a part of the sensitization programme that saw lawyers like Anand Grover sharing their experience in the court room while fighting for the recognition for being a third gender.

Fed up of the verbal assault, Amrita, another eunuch, who quit her BA course from Delhi University, said: "I still get beaten by my father and brothers for dressing up like a girl. They want me to act like a boy." Amrita wishes to be a makeup artist and own a studio in Paris. She is very excited to know that now she can own a passport and have access to other relevant documents with her gender mentioned in it.

"I have already applied for the post of travelling ticket examiner (TTE) in the Indian railways. I hope to get selected and set an example to the society," said Chandni, who never got deterred by the derogatory remarks passed at her.

 "I am a representative of every section of LGBT. This is just a beginning of our good days. The fight to pen down section 377 will still go on. Now we have a base on which we can put up a fight for our rights at a large scale. We will bring about a cultural change in our society," said Laxmi Tripathi.

more from India

Modi announces Rs 745 crore relief for Kashmir's flood-hit homes and hospitals

The Prime Minister said the relief of Rs 570 crores was for rehabilitation of the flood affected and Rs 175 crores for renovation of six hospitals in the state. This is the PM's fourth visit to the state since he came to power in May.
Most Popular
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved