“I see a gathering of beauty here,” renowned Bharatanatyam exponent Padma Subrahmanyam exclaimed, referring to the thousands of transgenders who had gathered here from across the country to take part in the Miss Koovagam beauty pageant as spectators and participants.
Of the 62 hopefuls who participated in the beauty pageant, Sayasingh from Dharmapuri emerged as the winner. Anuska from Andhra Pradesh and Chennai-resident Deepika came in the second and third places respectively.
Loud rounds of applause resonated in the marriage hall on KK Road at Villupuram, where the Miss Koovagam pageant was held on Tuesday.
In the first round, 62 participants took to the ramp with poise as background music played. Out of the 62, 12 transgenders were short-listed for the second round. From the 12, judges chose three finalists — Sayasingh, Anuska and Deepika — for the third round. Participants were evaluated on their appearance in the first and second rounds. In the third round, Sayasingh, Anuska and Deepika were asked questions on their social awareness, for which they answered appreciably and responsibly.
When asked about their plans to uplift the transgender community in their districts, Deepika of Chennai said, “It is very hard for transgenders to find rented houses in all places. Even if anybody comes forward to give us houses for rent, the landlords ask for a lot of money. If they rent the house out to normal persons for `2,000, they ask us for much higher amounts. Hence, I would petition government authorities demanding construction of free houses for transgenders.” First runner-up Anuska said, “I would promote the use of condoms among sexual workers in a bid to mitigate diseases.”
Pageant winner Sayasingh answered, “I would help transgenders in starting their own businesses. I would set up a home to support transgenders, who are abandoned by their families.”