HYDERABAD: A month after transwomen Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli and Madhumati were reportedly denied entry into the city mall GVK One and its multiplex INOX, the duo have decided to file a writ petition in the High Court. Vyjayanti, a corporate employee, rights and inclusion activist and member of the Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi collective, says that while she was waiting in the queue at the ticket counter, an on-duty security personnel asked them to leave as he suspected something fishy about the group (which also had a male member). Arguments ensued and only after Vyjayanti started speaking in English that the security officer backed off and allowed them in.
“It is not the first time I faced discrimination on the basis of my sexual orientation. At airports, it is a routine for me to be moved to and fro from gents to ladies queues. But this time, I have decided that I will not take such discrimination lying down. It is a gross violation of human rights and I will drag them to the court,” says Vyjayanti. Such treatment is just the tip of the iceberg, she bemoans.
As per the Samithi’s data, as many as 10 incidents of atrocities against LGBT community come to light every month in the state. Till June this year, as many as 66 cases of attack were registered in Hyderabad and surrounding districts.
While most cases of rape, physical abuse, genital mutilation and theft go unreported or get very little media attention, the murder of Pravallika this January and more recently the mystery behind the suspicious death of another transgender Anusha from Visakhapatnam has got people talking about the fringe community.
“Since a majority of the transgenders are disowned by their families, they have little or no education and protection from the state and lead miserable lives,” says Vyjayanti. While she rues the state apathy – the activist along with two other fellow transgenders, Bittu, who teaches at Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Hyderabad and Rachna, a sex worker – are compiling a database of all the FIRs lodged pertaining to the trans community. This data will be used to file a Public Interest Litigation against the government stating that it has not done anything to safeguard the interests of the community as directed by the Supreme Court.
“While the government has always lent us a patient ear, they have not substantiated it with any work. This has compelled us to resort to litigation,” she adds. In April 2015, the state government added ‘third gender’ in the Telangana State Public Service Commission exam application form. While the Hijra community has lauded the move, Vyjayanti says it will only help the already well off section of the community,” she says.