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Meet TN’s First Transgender Lawyer, Sathyasri Sharmila

Team SoOLEGAL 2 Jul 2018 2:30pm

Meet TN’s First Transgender Lawyer, Sathyasri Sharmila

Sathyasri Sharmila’s win, as the first transgender lawyer in India, is a big step towards the inclusion of the transgender community into the mainstream society.

Sharmila (36) was born as 'Udhakumar’ in Paramakudi of Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. She walked out of her home at the age of 18 over taunts from her neighbours. She later changed her name to Sathyasri Sharmila and completed her B.Com (Company Secretaryship) from Paramakudi. Wanting to work for the betterment of her community, Sharmila decided to take up law thereafter.

However, Sharmila’s journey to become a lawyer was not an easy one. She had been subjected to discriminatory treatment because of her gender. Besides, she waited for almost a decade before conjuring up the confidence to register with Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTNP).

“But the moment judges called me as the first transgender lawyer in the state, I had forgotten everything. It made me excited,” Sharmila was quoted as saying.

In fact, Sharmila’s name stood out among the 485 other lawyers who were seated patiently in the auditorium of BCTNP in Chennai.

“I was still not confident about the treatment meted out to the transgender community in the society. But I believe things are gradually changing for us. We are beginning to be recognised after the Supreme Court registered us as third genders in 2014. Therefore, I thought the time has come to register myself as a lawyer. Serving the community is my priority now”, an emotional Sathyasri Sharmila told media reporters.

Welcoming Sharmila to the legal fraternity, Justice PN Prakash of the Madras High Court, who administered oath to over 600 youngsters getting enrolled, said that “he yearned to see a transgender as a judge of a High Court during his lifetime”.

Bar Council of India also extended its welcome to Sharmila and appreciated her efforts.

"Article 14 of the Constitution states that all are equal and should be given equal opportunity. The Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Bar Council has taken the right decision. I hope that this will encourage other transgenders to go for higher education and go into, various professions like law," said S. Prabhakaran, co-chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and president of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA).

 

Tagged: Sathyasri Sharmila   Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Bar Council   BCTNP   BCI   TNAA   Madras HC  
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