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Mansi Khandelwal

IWB Blogger

Ganga Kumari Tells Us What Shattered Her Dream Of Becoming India’s 1st Trans Cop

  • IWB Post
  •  May 17, 2018

Having been fighting for the last four years to become India’s first transgender police constable, Rajasthan’s Ganga Kumari’s journey has been a little longer than she thought it would be.

Her legal battle started in December 2015. When all her other batch mates joined duty, she was denied the chance after doctors discovered that she was a transgender and the police department didn’t know how to train her.

However, the 24-year-old transgender from Jakhari village in Raniwada, Rajasthan, is hopeful for her selection after the High Court’s hearing scheduled for April 26, 2017.

To support her through this journey, we spoke to Ganga Kumari.

After Prithika Yashini got selected as the first transgender police officer, do you think your case will finally see the light of the day?

Of course, it will have a positive impact on my decision that has been pending for all these years. Since this brilliant example of Yashini comes from another Indian state, Government in Rajasthan will be all the more keen to fast track my process now. I am very hopeful for the Supreme Court verdict that will be announced on April 26.

You’ve always mentioned that the police officers were very welcoming towards you. What do you think went wrong in the selection process?

After having cleared all phases of selection, I secured 148th rank. But what happened was that during the medical examination the officers got confused whether they should give me a female training or a male one. I felt really sad that despite clearing all formalities, I am still awaiting my result!

What was the most encouraging gesture from a police officer during this time?

When I filed the writ in Rajasthan High Court in December, IPS officer Pankaj Chowdhary encouraged me to be patient and said, “Your selection will happen just that it is taking some time.”

What do you love the most about the uniform?

Vardi toh vardi hai, par sochkar lagta bohot acha hai. Bas ab jaldi se pehen ne ko mil jaye.

Once selected, what plan of actions do you have for the LGBTQ community?

Once selected, it will obviously be a big step towards breaking the existing taboo around transgenders. Also, in future, I will do my best to normalize life for the third gender people.

Rajasthan formed a transgender welfare board in August 2016 with the four third gender people as its members and the minister for social justice and empowerment as its head but the board has never met and nothing has been done in support of our people. I will make sure that this Board functions and our demands are heard. I will also take necessary steps so that our future generation does not find difficulties in getting jobs and being financially stable.

Transgender police cop

How have people from the LGBTQ community supported you throughout your journey?

My family and sisters from the LGBTQ community have been my constant support. They have done so much for me that I don’t even have enough words to thank them. I especially want to thank Pushpa didi. She trained me before all my important selections and meetings. She was the one who guided me through the procedure of filing the writ. The journey would have been more difficult, had she not been there.

While I was imagining Chulbul Pandey in my head and playing Hudh hudh dabang dabang, I asked her, ‘Was it your childhood dream to become a police officer?’

Oh yes! I have been dreaming of joining the police department since I was in 10th standard. I appeared for the exam first in 2011 and could not pass. Later in 2013, the state police advertised for recruitment of 12,178 constables. I applied again then. The results for this came in 2014 and selection happened in December 2015.

But, I wasn’t selected. I am disheartened that I could not become the first transgender police officer. I had been dreaming of this big day for the last four years.

 

What is one daily routine that prepares you for the job?

I run for 4 km every morning and practice yoga too!

Recently India’s first transgender college principal from Krishnanagar resigned expressing frustration at “non-cooperation” of a section of teachers and students of her institution. Despite the growing efforts towards sensitization towards LGBTQ, it is still a long journey for the third gender.

How do you emotionally and mentally prepare yourself for the job?

Though I have heard of several harassment cases against my LGBTQ friends, I am fortunate that I personally haven’t experienced any. Abhi tak acha hua hai toh aage bhi acha hoga, aisa sochti hu mai. Baaki toh job par seekh hi jaate hai.

 
This article was first published on April 15, 2017.

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