Meet These 12 Trans Women Who Proved Themselves as Achievers

The Supreme Court's 2014 judgment to recognize transgender people as a third gender came-in as much relief to the community

learn more about Vanita D'souza

By Vanita D'souza


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The transgender or the Hijra community in India has stayed aloof from the society for the longest period of time, some of them were able to make it big and rise to prominent positions and some were not able to come out of the dark alleys of urban India despite efforts from the government and non-governmental agencies.

The Supreme Court's 2014 judgment to recognize transgender people as a third gender came-in as much relief to the community. However, nothing much has changed on the ground as we continue to witness a lot of hijras resorting to begging, prostitution and dancing on special occasions for their bread and butter.

But then there are few who came out of the taboo and were able to prove themselves as achievers. We can categorise them as good human beings and not just transgenders as we present them as role models for those who still live in despair.

Entrepreneur India glances through some of these inspiring trans women.    


Dr Kalki Subramaniam

Subramaniam is multi-talented as she is a writer, an actor and also an entrepreneur.

She joined the trans family at the young age of 14 and went on to complete her education with a Bachelor's degree in English and Master's degree in Journalism and Mass communication from Madurai University.

During her younger days, Subramaniam also published a magazine called Sahodari, which means sister, to advocate equal right for the members of her community. In the latter part of her life, the entrepreneur started an NGO with the same name and the same purpose.

While in 2011, Kalki was recognized as the first transgender women in India to do a lead role in a movie. The feature film is known Narthagi and discusses issues surrounded to the community.

Krishnagar Women's College

Manabi Bandopadhyay

Bandopadhyay has a lot of firsts in her kitty.

Starting from the latest, in 2015, she became the first transgender woman to be appointed the Principal of Krishnagar Women's College in Nadia district of West Bengal.

While in 2005, she was the first transgender professor to complete a Ph D in Bengali Literature. While in 1995, she published the first transgender magazine Ob-Manab, which means Sub-human the Limca Book of Records noted.


Shabnam Bano

Four years after the hijra community was allowed to cast their vote, Shabnam Bano, also known as Shabnam Mausi (Aunty), was elected member of the Madhya Pradesh State Legislative Assembly from the Sohagpur constituency and held the office from 1998 to 2003.

Inspired by the Shabnam Mausi, the hijras in Madhya Pradesh went on to launch their very own political party called Jeeti Jitayi Politics.

In 2005, Yogesh Bharadwaj directed a feature film depicting Shabnam's life starring Ashutosh Rana as the lead.



Nitasha Biswas

In 2017, while you were busy discussing your #MeToo moments on social media, Kolkata trans girl Nitasha Biswas rose to fame and went on to win India's First Transgender Beauty Queen.

Soon after completing her formal education, the trans model moved to Delhi to pursue a career in the modelling industry.

Earlier this year, the beauty queen resigned from her post as TransQueen India 2017 due to a tiff between her and the event organizers.


Padmini Prakash

Coimbatore's local news channel LOTUS TV appointed Padmini Prakash as a prime-time news presenter, which makes her India's first transgender news anchor.

Additionally, Prakash is trained Bharatnatyam dancer and has won several local transgender contests apart from acting in Tamil-daily soaps.


K. Prithika Yashini

K. Prithika Yashini is India's first transgender police officer and just like others, her path to success wasn't an easy one.

Her application to join the force was rejected by Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board as she couldn't opt for a gender - male and female.

Yashini challenged this in the Madras High Court and the ruling was announced in her favour. After successful completing recruitment tests and a year-long training program, Yashini was posted as a sub-inspector at Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu.


The 6 pack band

The band is not just India's first transgender music band, but they are also the winners of Cannes Grand Prix Glass Lion in 2016.

Backed by YRF (Yash Raj Films), the 6 pack band includes Fida Khan, Ravina Jagtap, Asha Jagtap, Chandni Suvarnakar, Komal Jagtap and Bhavika Patil.

The band has released almost 5-6 videos which also feature celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Sonu Nigam, Arjun Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Vanita D'souza

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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