Padmini Prakash, a 32-year-old transgender from Coimbatore works for the Lotus News. She joined the channel as a television news anchor, five months after the Supreme Court recognised transgenders as a third gender in a landmark ruling last year. In a rare feat, Padmini has emerged as India’s first transgender news anchor, thus becoming a prominent voice for the neglected community.
Padmini, like most transgenders in India, had a difficult upbringing. She was disowned by her family when she was just 13. She even tried to commit suicide. In an interview with the BBC, she recalls, “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. I learnt Bharatnatyam, and took part in transgender beauty contests and won them. I then acted in a television serial.” Since then Padmini has been a vocal activist for transgender rights, and has been protesting against the discrimination, harassment and stigma that the sexual minority faces in India.
Becoming a news anchor was not easy. “I was very worried because I also had to focus on my diction and maintain a steady narrative pace to ensure that there was clarity and viewers could understand me,” Padmini told the Times of India. Today her seniors and colleagues at the Lotus News are proud of her, as she has become the face of the 7 pm news for the channel.
We congratulate Padmini for her achievement, and hope that her success paves the way for greater recognition and acceptance for the neglected sexual minority in India.
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