Meet Swapna, the first transgender to take civil services examination

It was a moment of victory for 23-year-old transgender Swapna, when she appeared for the group II examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) on Sunday.

FP Staff December 02, 2013 14:02:13 IST

It was a moment of victory for 23-year-old transgender Swapna, when she appeared for the group II examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) on Sunday. And not just for Swapna, it was a win for the entire transgender community.

Swapna is the first transgender to appear for a civil services examination.

"I have not performed well in a few papers as I had very little time to prepare. But, I am happy to have been officially recognised as a woman,” she told The Hindu after writing the competitive exam at Nirmala Girls Higher Secondary School centre in Madurai.

Meet Swapna the first transgender to take civil services examination

Moment of victory for 23-year-old Swapna. Image: Ibnlive

On 1 December, Swapna, a BCA graduate from Madurai became the first transgender to take the Tamil Nadu Public Service exam. The landmark decision to allow Swapna to appear for the paprt came after a prolonged campaign by the transgender community.

"We have been fighting for the last 10 years, it's only now that the government has given us this chance," Selvi, a transgender physiotherapist told CNN-IBN.

Selvi is a physiotherapist while Banu is a computer professional. They overcame many odds to complete their education, but say it's tough to find and keep a job once their gender identity is revealed. Only government recognition and reservations, they say, will help get them acceptance.

"Like everyone else, parents also think our transgender child will either become a beggar or a prostitute, if they know that transgenders can also have normal education and jobs with government help, perhaps they will not abandon their children," said Banu.

A provisional exam ticket for Swapna is just the first step but what will be more crucial is the policy framework for transgenders that the Tamil Nadu government is working on.

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