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How A Sex Worker Became A Human Rights Activist, With Akkai Padmashali [Video]

Posted: June 16, 2014

Akkai Padmashali’s story is  that of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Find out how a sex worker fought the odds and became a human rights activist!

Deep down, Jagdish always knew he was a woman, but he wondered when that woman was going to come out in the open.

Born as Jagdish in a typical middle class background, a struggle for his gender identity and social acceptance led him into sex work. Today, she – a male to female transgender – calls herself Akkai Padmashali and is a human rights activist.

In this video Akkai recounts her struggles with gender identity, her sex work in Bangalore’s Cubbon Park and that she always knew deep down she was a woman. “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 society’s norms, this was my punishment,” recalls Akkai while in conversation on Chai with Lakshmi.

In this video we hear the life story of a woman, who was been constantly pressurised into living a socially acceptable life. We learn of the difficulties she has faced at home, at work, in the sex trade and how she now fights for other transgenders who face the same.

Watch this amazing video here:


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  1. Dr Mrs Sushma Joiya Pandit -

    We will have to change the thoughts of every female by inculcating the ideology of equality and by motivating them that are not less than a man. Girls can do any thing for violence against women. She should be taught
    the art of self dependency . Working without any support.

  2. Kamalika Ghosh -

    Here is a link to a beautifully written article: http://m-lp.co/1pz1n3G. The story is on devadasis which talks about women empowerment but of a different sort. So, when these little girls are pushed into prostitution in the name of religion, not only are their lives shattered, but they may have also mothered several kids where their own is robbed off them….they never get married and are shunned by society. Talking about women empowerment, these women who have been able to get out of the shackles are now turning entrepreneurs undertaking various businesses to support themselves and their families. We are extremely proud of them.

  3. Pingback: Karnataka Govt Will Honor A Transgender With The Rajyotsava Award For The First Time - storypiks

  4. Pingback: Akkai Becomes The First Transgender Honoured With Rajyotsava Award, ISRO Chief Among Other Awardees. - thynkfeed

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