[Padmini] is thrilled with her new job - not only because she is on air at prime time, but also because it is making a world of difference to her and her community.
"I am so happy. The message has gone all over India and the internet," she says. […]
According to one estimate, India has about two million transgender people and most live on the fringes of society, often in poverty, ostracised because of their gender. […]
Disowned by her family when she was 13, she left home and attempted suicide, but was saved by some people.
"After leaving home, I travelled all over. I enrolled into an undergraduate programme in commerce through distance education, but I had financial problems so I dropped out after two years," she says.
But, she was not disillusioned. “I learnt Bharatnatyam [classical Indian dance form]. I took part in transgender beauty contests and won them. I then acted in a television serial.” […]
Akkai Padmashali of Sangama, a group fighting for the rights of sexual minorities in the southern city of Bangalore says: “It’s a good move. For the first time, there is an effort to bring transgenders into the mainstream. There are very few right now in mainstream professions.”