After fighting social dogma, gender bias and many glass ceilings, K Prithika Yashini, who became the first transgender to become sub-inspector of police, joined the police service on Sunday in Dharmapuri.
Prithika Yashini, who was born as Pradeep Kumar had to first fight the society to alter identify which she succeeded after a sex change operation to become who she believed she was from within.
After completing one-year training at TN Police Academy on Friday, she reported for duty in the office of the Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Bandi Gangadhar on Sunday and was posted in the law and order wing. Much to the disappointment of waiting media, she refused to talk without the permission of her senior officers and left.
“I am very happy for completing the training. It went well. Everybody was very cooperative and understanding,” she said after the passing-out parade which was witnessed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami, among others. She said she would fight foeticide and crime against women. Her next dream is to become an IPS officer, for which she plans to prepare for the civil service exam during her free hours.
Yashini attempted to achieve a next to impossible goal by applying to become a police officer even after being fully aware of that the in police force is alleged filled with male chauvinism.
Many couldn’t even digest her bold move of applying for the force. Her application was also rejected stating that there were only two columns under which she can restrict her gender identity, either ‘male’ or ‘female’ but she went ahead and filled it as ‘transgender’. This led to a legal battle and finally citing a Court order she won the battle against ‘Tamil Nadu Uniform Services Recruitment Board’.
Then came the physical endurance and stamina stress where she cleared every test except the 100 meter dash where she reportedly failed by 1 second which almost led to her disqualification. But citing discrepancy an internal unofficial inquiry was conducted following which her name was cleared.
The Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill was passed in April, 2016 and the Indian Supreme Court recognised transgender as the third gender, five years after the electoral commission added the category to ballot forms.
The bill meant the government had to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education in line with other minorities, as well as basic amenities.
Yashini has now taken charge as sub-inspector of police at Dharampuri police station, Tamil Nadu. This is a new beginning for the transgender community of India.
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