Paradip: With the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict decriminalising gay sex by scrapping Section 377 of the IPC, Odisha’s first and only transgender Odisha Financial Services (OFS) officer Aishwarya Rituparna Pradhan, presently a commercial tax officer at Paradip Port town, is all set to tie the knot with her partner from the same sex.
While Aishwarya expressed her joy over the historic ruling, she also announced that she would soon marry the love of her life with whom she has been maintaining a live-in-relationship for a long time. However, she didn’t reveal her partner’s name.
Born as Ratikanta Pradhan, a native of Kanabagiri village in Kandhamal district, Aishwarya underwent sex reassignment surgery October 15. 2015.
“The Supreme Court’s April 15, 2014 ruling in which the apex court recognised transgender under the third gender category and guaranteed them constitutional rights was the shot in the arm I needed to make my transgender identity public,” said Aishwarya Pradhan.
While talking about her childhood, Aishwarya said she came to know about her orientation when she was in the sixth standard. Humiliation at the hands of teachers and classmates was routine for her.
“Teachers used to humiliate me in school for being different. In college, life wasn’t easy at all as once I was sexually abused by my hostel inmates during my post-graduation days in Bhubaneswar. After getting into state civil services, people used to be apprehensive about my capabilities. But now things have become relatively easier,” added Aishwarya.
Aishwarya believes that with the judiciary keenly trying to make lives of the LGBTQ community easier and more acceptable in society, the community’s good days aren’t very far.