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Transgender to Write UPSC Exam in Bengal for the First Time

Atri Kar, a transgender from Bengal, was facing issues enrolling for the UPSC Exam.

Transgenders face severe discrimination, and legal hassles even though they have rights and laws to help them.

The Supreme Court, decided in 2014 to allow transgender people to apply for education and employment using the ‘other’ category. Unfortunately, the policy hasn’t been implemented in many locations in India.

Being a transgender and fighting for basic rights is difficult in India. Representative image only. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
Being a transgender and fighting for basic rights is difficult in India. Representative image only. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

Such was the case for 28-year old Atri Kar, a transgender from Bengal, who was frustrated about not being able to exercise her fundamental rights.

The English teacher at Ramnagar Primary School endured numerous hassles and had to fight tooth and nail to be eligible for the West Bengal Civil Service Exams. The process took a couple of years, but paid off, as Atri recently became the first transgender from Bengal to apply using the ‘other’ category.

Atri had some help along the way. A private coaching centre agreed to sponsor her education, enabling her to clear the civil services exam. The barrier was that she couldn’t apply under the ‘other’ category, something that caused Atri to move court.

However, in 2017, Atri’s case was dismissed because someone allegedly sent a message to the judge, in an attempt to sabotage the case. Even though she was not involved, she had to accept the court’s judgment.

This year again, the advertisement only had the male/female options. A persistent Kar moved court again, and thanks to an interim order, Kar can fill up the 2018 application form online.


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Atri is hopeful and says writing the exam on June 3rd, under the ‘other’ category, might just be a possibility.

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