K Prithika Yashini will soon become India’s first transgender police officer in southernmost Tamil Nadu state after a nine-month legal battle.
The 25-year-old Chennai resident first applied for the sub-inspector role in February, but she was rejected by the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) because there was no third gender category on the application forms.
Yashini then took her case to Madras High Court, which, on Thursday (5 November) directed the board to hire her and include a third gender category on future applications.
‘The social impact of such recruitment cannot be lost sight of, as it would give strength to the case of transgenders,’ the judges said in their ruling.
‘Yashini must reach the finish line, and not be stopped and disqualified in the middle.’
India’s Supreme Court recognized transgender people as a third gender last April.
Tamil Nadu already has three transgender police constables, but Yashini will be the first transgender officer both in the state and the country.
‘I’m excited,’ she told NDTV. ‘It’s a new beginning for the entire transgender community.’
2015 has been a year of firsts for India’s transgender community.
The country’s first transgender mayor was elected in January and its first transgender college principal appointed in May.