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After section 377 verdict, India’s first transgender bureaucrat wants to get married

Born as Ratikanta Pradhan in Kanabagiri village of Kandhamal district, Aishwarya entered into Odisha Financial Services in 2010 with her gender identified as Male.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2018 07:47 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Aishwarya Rituparna Pradhan,Ratikanta Pradhan,transgender
Born as Ratikanta Pradhan in Kanabagiri village of Kandhamal district, Aishwarya entered into Odisha Financial Services in 2010 with her gender identified as Male(Facebook)

Aishwarya Rituparna Pradhan, 34, presently deputy commissioner(in-charge) of GST in Paradip circle of Odisha commercial tax department, said she will soon marry her boyfriend with whom she has been in live-in relationship for last 2 years.

“Though my boyfriend wanted me to get married to him for over a year, I put off the decision only due to Section 377. Now that the Supreme Court has decriminalised it, I have decided to marry him. The marriage would happen next year,” said Pradhan, who in 2015 made her identity as a transgender public, a year after the SC recognised the fundamental and civil rights of transgender persons.

Born as Ratikanta Pradhan in Kanabagiri village of Kandhamal district, Aishwarya entered into Odisha Financial Services in 2010 with her gender identified as Male. But she was uncomfortable with the identity and always wanted to declare her transgender identity till the SC judgement came in 2014. She underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2015 following which she officially declared her new identity and assumed the new name Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan.

Pradhan said when her boyfriend, an entrepreneur, first proposed him 3 years ago, she had laughed him off thinking to be a case of infatuation. “I have never encountered such things in my life as all that I have faced is humiliation. I told him that he was very younger to me. I had forgotten all about it till we met in Bhubaneswar some months later. Then he asked me my phone number and I readily gave. I also had feelings about him. We have been in a live-in relationship for 2 years,” said Pradhan, who plans to get married in court under Special Marriages Act.

Pradhan said the marriage next year would be achievement of one more goal of her life that has often been traumatic. “In school teachers used to ridicule and humiliate me. In university, I was sexually abused by my peers in hostel. My father was a retired armyman always asked me to behave like a man. But inside me I was feeling like a girl. I used to get beaten up,” said Pradhan, who used to wear her sister’s clothes and her cosmetics. “Sometimes I also wore mother’s gold ornaments. That made me happy.”

However, her boyfriend is yet to reveal to his parents about the status of their relationship. “He has not revealed about out status to his parents in Puri though I have asked him several times to say. I don’t care whether his parents accept me or not. I am a working lady and am independent. I don’t need anyone’s approval for that matter. My boyfriend has accepted me and that’s fine with me,” she said.

After her marriage, her goal is to adopt a girl child. “I want to inculcate my feminine thoughts in her. I have been dreaming of making her enter a Miss World contest. She would introduce herself as child of a transgender parent. That would be proud moment for me.”

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 07:45 IST