Oorvasi Gandhi

She was born in Tamil Nadu’s Usilampatti. At a very early age, leaving her home she fought for her identity against a social system that doesn’t respect her. 

In 8th standard, she realized that she is a little different from her classmates. She was supposed to continue to behave like a boy. Her mother passed away in 1998. Her father and brother did not accept her. After this, she fled to Mumbai city. 

In order to earn money, she was thought that transgenders were expected to do sex work but she escaped from getting indulged in this. She saved herself and came to Madurai. She left her studies and joined Arogyaham, an NGO where she worked to create awareness about the rights as well as benefits of transgenders. 

In the year 2005, she was appointed as a community adviser in Tamil Nadu and she worked under Tamil Nadu Aids Initiative. She was also appointed as president of the Madurai district for four years. She also worked as a placement officer to help hire transgender people. Oorvasi Gandhi has been working for over two decades for rural transgender communities of Tamil Nadu. This helped them to get not only property rights but also some basic facilities. She is the first person to get the right to inherit property under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights ) Act, 2019. 

Initially, she struggled to embrace her identity as a trans person. Today, as she has support from the family, she says,” My partner and in-laws are elated, and said they will support me in my endeavors”. Apart from this, she says,” Further, awareness programs for the development and welfare of transgender communities will be conducted”.

In 2020, she got married to a transman and is now living in Coimbatore. Also, she is now continuing her studies at Tamil Nadu University. She has set a great example in front of us. We should be proud of the way we are and should accept ourselves. 

-Staff Reporter

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