Born as Jagdish in a middle-class family, Akkai Padmashali always knew she was a woman inside. Akkai is a male-to-female transgender who was once a discriminated sex-worker.
Today, she is a human rights activist with Sangama, and is working with the Indian judiciary to create better inclusion for India’s transgender community: a population that is over 5 lakhs in number. In this episode of Chai with Lakshmi, Akkai shares her life story, her struggles with gender and identity, and about her work as a rights activist for the sexual minority community. “I used to play with girls a lot. One day my father brought me home and poured hot water on my legs. He said that if I didn’t act as per the norms of society, this was my punishment,” recalls Akkai, sharing about how her family’s struggled to accept her gender identity.
Akkai also shares about treatment meted out to her and other transgenders by those outside the home too: the police, the legal community, and more. This eye-opening conversation is not only informative but is also inspiring. That a person can go through as much trauma and come out shining, bearing a light for change is truly amazing. Watch the episode on Akkai Padmashali’s life story below.
About the Show
Chai with Lakshmi is India’s first award winning online talk show. It brings you conversations with people who are positively shaping India for the future.
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