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Face To Face With Odisha's First Transgender Commercial Tax Officer Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan

Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan, Coming out boldly in defiance of social conventions, a 32-year-old Odisha government gazetted officer has made public her transgender identity, saying how it was the Supreme Court's decision that empowered her to fully embrace her selfhood.

Born Ratikanta Pradhan and serving in the Orissa Financial Service, the officer has now adopted a new identity as Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan.This week she is face to face with nwztoday.

Nwztoday:  How was the journey so far, please share with us briefly?

 Aishwarya: I was born in a middle class family of a Kandha Tribe at Kanabagiri Village, of G.Udaygiri Block of Kandhamal District of Odisha. My father was an Ex-Army and he always believes in principles of discipline life and my mother was a house wife she always supports me as a TG from the beginning of my struggleful life. I have one elder brother and one younger sister and both have married and were leading their happy family lives.

Nwztoday: What were challenges before you?

Aishwarya: My first and foremost challenge was discrimination from my father who had always harassed mentally and physically me and even some point of time physical abuse while I was minor because of being a Transgender. He does not like me as a TG and also does not want to lead my own life as TG. He insisted me to behave like a boy and be friends with only boys but I always love and like to be friend with girls and TG’s. Even today I am not comfortable with boys than girls and TG friends. Most of boys insult and underestimate me. Further, my father was underestimated me being a TG and told me “What will you do being a TG” and “you a (Goat) born out of a lion”. The general attitude of people towards me was very rude and negative, unacceptable, undermind and underestimate but I did not bow down to their behavior and attitude, rather it gave me inner strength to fight the situation and also concentrate/focus on my study. In school, I was mentally and physically harassed by boys students and even PT teacher. In college, it is good time for me.

Nwztoday: In this journey, what gives you strength or inspiration to move on?

Aishwarya: My determination to set an example in the society being a TG and positive attitude and thinking have given me strength to move on in my life. I always believe in positive thinking and avoid negative attitude people. Also very straight forward and honest in my approach.

Nwztoday: Do you agree that education is the best weapon to face hurdles in life?

Aishwarya: Yes. I do agree and also add that without proper education no one can be developed. It is essential and necessary to progress and develop a community and also for larger society. I believe and faiths that proper education must be imparted to the TG’s so that they can develop their personality very well and have confidence to face the society and prove themselves by establishing in different walk of life. It will help the TG’s to inculcate confidence among themselves and face the society effectively. So I believe that proper education must be imparted to TG’s so that they can know and understand their Rights guraneeted by the constitution of India as a citizen of India and Human Rights and as well as duties of the citizen in the society .

Nwztoday: What is your future plan and is there any Spl. Vision for Transgender Community?

Aishwarya: I wanted to start my family by get married to male and also adopt orphaned girl child. My spl. Vision for TG community would be that to open an “old age home” for old TG’s of Odisha in BBSR in collaboration and active support of “SAAKHA” which is a community based organization (CBO) working for welfare and betterment of and protection of human rights of TG population in Odisha.

Nwztoday: Apart from job what you do in leisure time?

Aishwarya: I love to read different novels, fiction and non-fiction books and also write. Apart from this I also like to dance and cooking and visit new places and meeting new friends.

Nwztoday:  Any special moment, you wish to share with Nwztoday?

Aishwarya: Yes, I am very fortunate enough to work with a very good human being Sri. Nihar Ranjan Nayak sir, Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Jagatsinghpur Circle, Paradeep where I am presently working as a Sales Tax Officer. He always supports and encourages me and respects my identity as TG and also my personal life. I feel very happy and proud to work under him and learn so many thinks from him. He also appreciates my works which gives me moral boosting and support to give my best performance in my professional life.

Nwztoday: You are now inspiration for others, so any spl. Message you like to give for the society?

Aishwarya: My spl. Message to the society is that firstly, please do provide proper education to the TG so that she can understand the value of life and her contribution for betterment of society at large. Do not underestimate us because I believe that every humane being is unique, God gifted and special in their own way and also gifted different talents, quality by God that we must respect and appreciate. Talent is just a talent and it does not confined to a particular gender. Secondly, we are also part and parcel of society and without it we also cannot live and please do give your love, affection, care, appreciation to us as you are giving to boy and girls. I also appeal to all parents those who have TG child that please give family support to your TG child and encourage to lead her won life the way she wanted to live and happy with her life. After all it is her life and she has to live her own life even it is difficult or smooth no matters. Please don’t force her to change her in any way and respect her feelings and emotions. If we will force her to change that it will end of with disaster consequences like committing suicides and other family disturbances. Further, don’t hesitate to accept your TG child-it’s a gift of God with unique. You must feel proud of being the parents of a TG. It will give immense encourage and support to the TG which will give confidence and courage to face the any forms of hurdles in her life in the society and she can face boldly to the society which will ultimately leads to development of good personality and grooming. Thirdly, I appeal to all general public that please don’t underestimate us. Give us love, affection, care and opportunities, we will show the entire world that TG can do lots more for the betterment of society at large and at the same time contribute for development and welfare for society.

 Thanks a lot for your valuable time, Nwztoday wish you all the very best.

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