TIRUCHY: Harini was 10 years old when she saw a policeman save a group of transgenders from a violent mob. That day she decided she would become a police officer too. Now 15, life has not been easy for her. Hariharan, as Harini was named at birth, was in class 5 when she realised changes in the body and informed the family. Shocked that she came out as a transgender, the family did not accept her and started abusing her.
“I loved wearing my mother’s saree, mascara, lipstick and dance. I just loved myself and knew that this is me. My body started changing but my family didn’t notice it. It was only in the past two years that I realised I was a transgender. However, my family didn’t accept it. My elder brother and other family members used to torture me. I was forced to dress like a boy,” says Harini.
Three months ago, Harini found a confidante in Angel, a transgender who lived nearby. When the abuse at home became too much to take, Harini moved in with her. Angel took Harini under her wings and gave the education and a life that eluded her. On Friday, Harini secured admission in Class 11 at Sri Sivananda
Balalaya. She is the first gender non-conforming student to stay in the residential school.
The hostel is the brainchild of Major General (retd) NRK Babu, correspondent of the school. The construction was started in July 2019. “We have given the first admission to Harini. Her parents sent her away and this is exactly why we started this hostel, to ensure such children don’t drop out.We are expecting more children to join soon,” Babu said.
Angel and her group of 25 want to ensure that Harini gets a chance at proper education. “I wasn’t able to study beyond class 9. My family threw me out. We had to beg. When Harini came to me, I resolved I wouldn’t let her life become like mine. Through some people I came to know about Sivananda Balalaya and contacted Babu sir,” said Angel. Harini dreams of being an SI and hopes to get her gender re-assingnment surgery done when she turns 18.