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Advocate Sathyasri Sharmila has made history by becoming the first transgender lawyer to enrol with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The enrolment function held at the Madras High Court premises on Saturday marked the enrolment of close to 500 new entrants to the profession. However, Sharmila’s feat has drawn special felicitation from judges and lawyers alike. Justice PN Prakash of the Madras High Court is reported to have expressed hope that he would see a transgender judge in the high court during his lifetime.
Born as Udhayakumar, Sharmila hails from the Ramanathapuram district. She eventually left her family to join the transgender community in Kancheepuram. She has emphasised that she only left her family owing to societal pressure, and that she has the support of her parents.
She went on to complete her B.Com degree from Paramkodi, following which she chose to pursue law in 2004. She has been quoted as saying,
“It was the plight of our community that made me decide to take up law.”
She completed her law degree in 2007 from Salem Central Law college as a male. However, the 36-year-old waited for about a decade before she mustered up the confidence to lead the way and enrol as the country’s first transgender lawyer.
Speaking to various media outlets, she said that the road to this achievement was not easy. Prior to her enrolment as a lawyer, she had been working as a transgender rights activist.
On the occasion of her enrolment, she has said that she plans to continue working for the welfare and development of the transgender community, whose support was crucial to her success.
Feature image taken from here.