After the long, arduous battle she fought nearly single-handedly, 25-year-old Prithika Yashini now basks in the joy that follows a victory, against no less a monster than social stigma. She is also awaiting the day when she will first don the khaki, the day her childhood dream will be realised.
For, Yashini is all set to be the first transwoman police sub-inspector in the State, and likely in the entire country too.
Born in Kandhampatty village in Salem to P. Kalaiarasan, a driver, and K. Sumathi, a tailor, Prithika Yashini dreamt of becoming a police officer as a child. The desire to serve society set her on the path of the uniform.
“My mother has struggled to bring me up and provide me an education. She is my role model,” says Yashini.
After finishing her college education, the stigma became intense as she was a young transwoman in a trans-phobic semi-urban community. “I ran away to the city. But the city too was not good to me. I struggled — unable to find a house, without food and help. The transgender community took me in, finally. I also worked as a warden in a women’s hostel,” she says.
Then she decided to pursue her long-forgotten dream of becoming a police officer. “There is no police officer from the transgender community. Hence I started preparing for the written exams and physical tests,” she says, her joy apparent.
Once she gets her posting, she hopes she will be a role model for young transwomen like her so that they work towards a goal.
“The Madras High Court came to help in at every step, helping me realise my dream. I wish the government introduces reservation system for transgenders for employment and education,” Yashini, who takes tuitions for underprivileged children in her locality, says.
Even as she prepares for the UPSC examinations, Yashini feels that parents should not disown kids who are transgenders, but encourage them to achieve. “They should be guided to do bigger things in future. Initially, my parents were against me, now they are proud of what I have achieved,” she says.
As someone who has come this far, she is not apprehensive of the challenges she may face once she becomes an officer.
“I am sure the Police Department is a safe place. Since I have struggled so much to reach this position, I can overcome the challenges, if any, with ease,” adds a confident Yashini.