Tiruvallur District Collector on March 25 tweeted that he had delivered a date order to a 30-year-old trans woman named J Dhakshayani, which caught the attention of many and praise went to the collector for his noble deed.
Born in Annambedu village in Poonamallee near Chennai, Santhanaraj started working early at the age of 19 as his father abandoned his family, a mother and a brother. Santhanaraj, meanwhile, enrolled for a BA history course at Annamalai University through distance learning but was unable to complete it. It was in 2015 when Santhanaraj was transferred to Koduveli panchayat, Raj decided to leave home as he was feeling physical and mental changes. Passing from Santhanaraj to Dhakshayani, she wanted to embrace her reality.
Fearing rejection, Dhakshayani ran away from her job and left her home to stay with members of her community and traveled to various parts of the state and even places like Nepal. In 2017, Dhakshayani underwent gender affirmation surgery in Chennai and traveled to Nepal and elsewhere. Through a family friend, Dhakshayani returned to Chennai in December 2019.
Meanwhile, his mother Kuppu, who had been looking for her “son” for almost 5 years, finally found him under the name “Dhakshayani”.
“When I was made to speak to my mum on the phone, to my surprise my mum seemed very supportive and said ‘Anyway, come home,'” Dhakshayani said. After returning home in 2020, when private companies refused to give Dhakshayani a job, she decided to contact the state government and wrote a petition to the chief minister’s special cell in 2021 stating that s there was a possibility of giving her the same job she was doing before she was 7 years old. She explains in detail why she had to quit her job. Upon approval, the district receiver gave him primary responsibility for the Koduveli panchayat.
Tiruvallur district collector Alby John tweeted that “Dhakshayani has been re-employed out of compassion and in consideration of the gender sentiments of the issue, noting that emblematic issues are of paramount importance.”
Dhakshayani said she knew at the age of 17 that she was not a man by heart and emotions and joined the job here after finishing class 12 but was unable to bear the changes physically and mentally and therefore left the house. She also called on the government to take action to ensure that trans people with appropriate employment live dignified lives among the people.
People from various walks of life expressed their gratitude to the District Collector who made the timely decision considering the position of a trans woman in society.
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