• Joyeeta Mazumdar

Who Is This Trans Couple And Have They Really Adopted A Child?



We are talking about trans couple, Akkai Padmashali, and her hubby, Vasu. They have been fighting equality for years in India. So, yes, adopting a 3-month old is one of the achievements in their wish list.


But that’s not all!


Padamashali says that’s not the only achievement of her life. She has worked hard for almost 30 years for transgender community rights in India. For years, she has been looked down upon. She has been mistreated and ignored. But her sheer dedication has given her respect in the Patriarchal society.


She tried to kill herself!


The torture of her began at the age of 12. She was something different—the society left no stone un turned to make her realize that. We were ashamed of that when we heard about it. But, that’s her truth. At one point in her life, she’s been depressed and left alone, thinking that ending her life was the only alternative left.


She fought the government with full force and will


She hails from Bangalore, Karnataka. Thus, she first fought with the Karnataka government to be the first transgender to get her marriage registered, lawfully on the papers, in front of the court. It wasn’t easy, but she did it.


Then, she bagged a driving license, becoming the first-ever transgender person in India to have it.

Later, she also got the second-highest civilian award hailing from Karnataka, named, Rajyotsava Prashasti.


The desire to adopt a kid was not new for her


She had the desire to have a baby from a young age. When she married Vasu, the orphanages didn’t make it easy for her to adopt a kid. They thought she was a sex worker, initially. Though, with the help of her lawyer friend, she was able to make the orphanage believe that she was not a beggar or a sex worker—that her son could lead a perfectly normal life with her.



JOURNEY TO EQUALITY- TRANSGENDERS

Performances by transgenders at the birth ceremonies, marriages, and festivals have been the part of Indian culture since inception. For them this is one of the prime ways of earning their bread and butter. I have observed people enjoying their performances, passing slang comments and treating them as lower strata of society. Even my family members did the same however I could never come in terms with this concept. As a child I used to always wonder that why do they do so? Why don’t they possess equal rights of living a healthy and normal life? I wondered that how can a genetic or hormonal disorder make them less human when they were too children of similar god and governed by similar emotions.


Who gave society the right to discard them? I found this gesture extremely insensitive and inhuman towards humans already suffering physically and mentally from gender identity disorder. Medically they may be unable to lead a healthy married life but they can always have equal work opportunity and lead a normal and healthy life as a human being instead of being categorized as a, “transgender”.


Due to low employment opportunities they are often forced to earn their living through begging (dheengna), sex work (raarha), and performances leading to deteriorating mental and physical health. Often regarded as third gender they face extreme discrimination in education, employment, health facilities, and treatment. Often transgender sex workers undergo brutal violence in prisons and police stations.


Hence, there is often a strong demand from NGOs fighting for their rights to have a strong judicial system for providing justice to them.


The strong voice, fight for their rights, and the efforts of NGOs and transgenders are now witnessing the day of light. India got its first elected transgender mayor in Raigarh. The 35 year old Madhu, a transgender scripted history by defeating the rival BJP MLA Mahaveer Guruji by high margins and became the first transgender mayor. After the first mayor, the southern state of India, Chennai may also appoint a transgender, K Prithika Yashini as a first sub inspector. Her application was first rejected on the basis that the state police recruitment board doesn’t have any third gender category.


But she decided to fight for her right and the Madras High Court has declared her a fit candidate for the post and she now dreams of becoming an IPS officer. A similar welcome move was commenced by the Kerala government announcing the launch of G-Taxi after the successful launch of She-Taxi.


These taxis will be completely owned and run by the transgenders and can be used by the general public irrespective of their genders. And if everything went with the plan, the first fleet of taxis will be launched by the 1st March 2016.


It is regarded as a welcome move to reduce the disparity between society and transgender and make them an intrinsic part of the mainstream society. It will not only help them have respectable employment opportunities but also help to reduce the social stigma haunting their lives.



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