A school in Tamil Nadu's Trichy witnessed an unusual celebration of Republic Day, 2021. M Sneha, a 41-year-old transwoman, was invited as the chief guest at the event. She got a little teary-eyed while hoisting the flag as she was cheered with claps from students, teachers and the headmaster.
According to The New Indian Express, Sneha lives a dignified life by working as a driver at the district collector's office. She hoisted the flag at Subbaiah Memorial School and also distributed sweets and addressed the students.
Speaking on the occasion, headmasterJeevanandhan said, "I wanted to do something special this year. I remember seeing a transwoman last week and thought it would be nice to have a person like her as our chief guest this year. I saw Sneha, who is working as a driver at the Collectorate, and decided to invite her to the celebration. I wanted this to be a moment of acceptance for all our students and staff."
"I am grateful to you all for providing me with this opportunity and I sincerely thank principal KS Jeevanandhan. I request all students to help trans people, and the greatest help you can do is accepting them as one of your own. Set yourselves big goals and work towards achieving them," she said.
Sharing her life experiences, the transwoman said that she decided to drop out of school after being subjected to constant humiliation. She was also forced to conceal her identity as a female even after going through gender reassignment surgery to avoid social stigma.
Sneha had to switch a number of jobs after she was mocked for her feminine gestures. Her family severed ties on knowing about her surgery. With no food or money, she had to struggle for days before she started searching for jobs and reached out to the social welfare department for help.
"Despite working as a driver for more than 12 years, people still look at me differently. If we teach children to accept and respect people like us, things will change for good. I hope my job is made a permanent one soon. I wish the next generation of trans people gets government jobs," she said.
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