History Made in an Exam Hall



Swapna (Centre)


Passing the exams with flying colors had been the biggest dreams of every one of ours student lives. But can you consider just taking up an exam an immense success? Wonder? Yes, in the world of gender discrimination transgender community is  struggling to get even their voice noted. They are deprived of all rights that every other human enjoy for they are genderless in the eyes of the society.

With the job offers in the private sectors becoming more and more volatile, despite the lucrative pay packages offered there, youngsters have turned their antennas to the government vacancies. In Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India, TNPSE (Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission) set to conduct Group-II exams for the recruitment of 1064 vacancies in various Government departments, for which over 600,000 thousand took the exams this Sunday (01.12.2013). Earlier Swapna, a trans woman had applied for the same but was denied the hall ticket sighting her gender as the reason for denial.

Brave Swapna along with four other members- all well educated but denied of their rights during recruitments- of transgender community moved to the court. They filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) with two pleas- one, to direct the state government to allot 3% reservation in education and employment for the transgender and the second was to allow Swapna to choose her gender as ‘female’ and take up the exam.

The court directed the TNPSE board to issue the hall ticket and allow Swapna, the 23 year old transgender, to sit for the exam last Wednesday. She took up the Group-II exam last Sunday, creating history, becoming perhaps the first transgender in all of India to take up a competitive exam as woman. She has a long story besides this as well. Swapna scored 428 marks in Class X and 1,021 in Plus Two. She also declares herself to have taken up the civil service examination prelims. Having cleared the prelims, she was not allowed to appear for the main exam because of the ‘infirmity’ over her sex, she claims.

By taking the exams Swapna has not only ventilated her dreams a little but has opened a door wide open for numerous other transgender souls who crave for a chance to compete in all walks of life with everyone , like everyone.  A trans woman’s (she likes to be addressed that way) single step has indeed proved to be the giant leap for a whole community which was denied of the rights from eon. She has gathered much of the India media’s attention and elated Swapna was seen in all smiles and undying hope in news.

Having succeeded in accomplishing one of the personal goals in that two plea PIL, on the second most important prayer about the 3% quota reservation, the court ordered notices to the government, and adjourned the matter to December 18 for further proceedings. If this is directed properly and the plea heard Tamil Nadu will set an example for the rest of the nation. May it dawn on Dec, 18th!

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