Tamil Nadu nurse wins fight for recognition as transgender professional

Tamil Nadu nurse wins fight for recognition as transgender professional

In another victory over social injustice and gender inequality, Rashika Raj from Tamil Nadu has become the first person in India to be registered as a trans nurse and midwife.

According to a News Minute report, the 23-year-old Rishika had completed her nursing course and wanted to be registered under the Tamil Nadu Nurses and Midwives Council (TNNMC) under the ‘third gender’ category. However, her efforts hit a wall when the TNNMC started to cite procedural complexities. This was in spite of the Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict that allowed transgender people to apply for education and employment under the ‘third gender’ category.

The nursing council said that an amendment needs to be introduced in the Nursing Council Act for her request to be taken forward. This led Rishika to approach the Madras High Court, which ruled that the nursing council should register Rishika as a ‘woman transgender’ for the time being before an official government order is passed.

Following this, the TNNMC registered Rishika temporarily as a trans woman, and after an amendment to the Nursing Council Act, the ‘third gender’ category would be included.

Despite this win, however, what becomes evident from this case is the difficulties transgender people still face in the country to get themselves socially recognised as they are. Sadly, this is true notwithstanding legal safeguards in favour of the transgender people. It is only when they approach the courts and acquire a ruling in their favour that they can claim their rights.

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