I’m ready to fight any kind of problems that I come across in the department or while performing my duties, says Yashini

Interview with Yashini Inspiring story of how she became Tamil Nadus first transgender police sub-inspector
news Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 07:01

Her childhood was not too easy, neither was telling her parents about her gender. But to overcome all the struggle to become a Sub-Inspector was not easy. The journey of K Prithika Yashini, the first transgender Sub-Inspector in Tamil Nadu police, is as inspiring as it was arduous.

She was born in 1990 in Salem as a son (Pradeep Kumar) to P. Kalaiarasan, an autorickshaw driver, and K. Sumathi, a tailor. She was confused about her “feelings” as a child. “I was very uncomfortable in using boy’s toilet so I never used to go to toilet during class hours," she says, as she looks back at those difficult years.

She had more girls as friends and always liked to play with girls in school. For that, boys in her class used to tease her. This went on till she finally realized in Class 10 that she was a transgender person.

Remembering one instance, she says, “I ran away from college in third semester and went to a transgender community hoping for them to take me in. They denied to keep me with them thinking about the trouble it will cause them and I had to return back home.”

Finally in 2011, Yashini decided to tell her parents the truth. She told them that she is a transgender person. 

As expected, unable to accept their son to be a transgender, they refused to listen to her. “I was taken to an astrologer and was made to go through different treatments. I was also taken to four or five psychologists and went through many counselling sessions," she says, pointing out that neither parents nor doctors understand what transgender people go through.

Tired of living a life where she was denied to be herself, she decided to leave her house and go to Chennai.

Her life in Chennai was very difficult without food, house or work. “I came to Chennai and had a sex-change operation with the help of the transgender community. After that, she worked at multiple places for meagre salaries. I worked in a ladies hostel as a warden, worked in an NGO and also in a hospital," she says.

Two years later in 2013, her parents accepted her after talking to several other transgender people and realizing that they did not want their child to suffer the way others were.

Later she decided to write to Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) exam. In every stage of the procedure, Yashini had to seek help from the Madras High Court. When she applied for exams, her application form was rejected stating that her name in her school and degree certificate was different from her present name in the application form. In the next stage, she did not pass the exam because there was no cut-off quota specifically for transgender people. 

After that, in her physical test she finished her 100m race in 18.5 seconds, missing the cutoff by one second. The Madras High Court asked TNUSRB to give Yashini the post of Sub-Inspector, calling her a “role model” for other transgender people.

One of the aims through her job is to help other transgender people become like her. “It is because of no support from family and the society’s attitude towards them that transgender people end up begging or becoming prostitutes," she says.

But she knows her struggles are not over, and there is a tough road ahead. “I’m ready to fight any kind of problems that I come across in the department or while performing my duties,” Yashini adds. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.