We humans have weird and unwritten criteria for deciding our perception of normality. Our own fixed set of rules and opinions decide what the world should follow or shun. But nature doesn’t confirm to set standards. Eccentrics are everywhere, but sadly they have to pay a price for not confirming to the normalcy.
But then there are some like Dhananjay Chauhan who win on life.
A resident of Uttrakhand, Dhananjay is a trans female and the first transgender student of Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Human Rights and Duties at the Centre for Human Rights, Panjab University.
Chauhan’s story is interesting but a challenging one, where she discovered her true self at the age of five. Revealing the inside truth she states that she was more interested in playing with girls as a child. As she grew up, attraction to similar sex confused her which led her into a state of depression. This also affected her studies, where she once excelled.
“Forget the students, I was bullied and sexually exploited by my teachers.”
After completing her graduation in 1993, she was forcibly pushed by her family into getting married. Having no feelings for the opposite sex, marriage became even more difficult for Chauhan.
“To save my wife from the society’s tantrums of not bearing a child, I convinced myself to get intimate with her.”
Slowly and gradually Chauhan’s wife understood her husband’s predicament and supported him in his fight to change his gender.
When the Indian government recognised trans genders as the third sex, Chauhan and her friends decided to organise the first LGBT pride walk in Chandigarh.
As he recalls, “It was very tough convincing and explaining the local authorities about LGBTs and their rights. When we had to set up a stage in sector 17 we had to go through a lot as the municipal authorities didn’t give us the permission to do so. But after a lot of efforts, we organised the first pride walk from the student centre of Panjab University to the Sector 17 plaza.”
Being a student in the university has been a smooth sail for Chauhan. “When I step in the university, I feel safe” quips Chauhan. Her teachers and batch-mates have been equally supportive. Some students who were initially shocked at the sight of a transgender in their class, now accept her.
“I faced some difficulty in using the conveniences, but the girls of our department also let me use it.”
Chauhan opted for the study of human rights as she feels the transgender community is living in a shell and they don’t know about their rights. She had applied for the course in 2015 but got rejected as this community wasn’t recognised by the government then.
She wishes to work for the welfare for the trans community after the completion of her course. She is also the director of Sakhsham Trust, which organises Pride Walk each year.
Ending on a positive note she says “Hum trans log bahut strong willed hotey hain. PU ke sare students bahut acchey hain. Baki, hamey zyada shikayat nahi karni chahiye.”
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