From a Rights Crusader to the Judge’s Chair

Kolkata: As Joyita Mondal’s car drove into the court premises in Islampur at Uttar Dinajpur last month, the country’s transgender population leaped in joy. As a dogged activist of the community she represents, Joyita had been to the court before, but this time around she was there to sit on the judge’s chair. The Islampur court premises, interestingly, is only a few minutes from the footpath where she was compelled to spend nights when hotels refused her accommodation because of her gender.

Child’s Play: A Serious Business

Misery was Joyita’s middle name as she was forced to put brakes on college education because of the insult and discrimination she faced from her classmates. She took a job in a call centre to earn her livelihood but that too was short-lived.

Not to lose heart, Joyita took the challenge head on and started to work for transgender welfare. She became the founder-secretary of Dinajpur Notun Aalo Society. The organisation soon set up a home for destitute sex workers. She almost single-handedly carried out awareness campaigns in offices, schools and colleges. Her primary objective was to earn societal recognition for the transgender community.

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Joyita, in all probability, is India’s first transgender to be appointed as a judge. She will chair a National Lok Adalat bench at Islampur sub-divisional court, hearing out cases related to bank loans.

Congratulatory messages poured in on Joyita’s social media profiles after her appointment. The rights crusader considers it as a big step forward in forging gender equality in the society.

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