Sridevi is a bright young student pursuing Bachelor of Arts, in Psychology, Literature and Sociology. She is also a Bharatnatyam dancer who has dabbled in interior designing and has also been a make-up artist.
She is also the first person in the history of Mumbai University to officially enrol as a transgender student.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Sridevi has been studying at Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) for over a year and half but her decision has become public only recently. In the 2015-2016 academic year, Mumbai University introduced a transgender column officially. The move came on the heels of the University Grants Commission (UGC), which had written to higher institutions to provide the transgender community official status as the third gender in their forms.
Sridevi’s life serves as an inspiration for millions across the country as she notes that she worked various odd jobs over the years to be able to afford higher education. While her family did not support her sex change, she remained undeterred and had initially enrolled at Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) but had to drop out due to the fact that she couldn’t fund herself after a while.
It was in the transgender community that she found her inspiration to not let slip of her education. However, while speaking to the Times of India, she did express her frustration over the fact that to this day, people like her suffer socially to be accepted.
She said, “One of the social workers motivated me to enroll for college education. People write about me and want to fight for my status, but nobody has offered a job that will empower me. People also want to make documentaries on me and they have, but what use is that to me? Nobody wants to give me a respectable job.”
But she is hoping with a college education, she will be able to land the job of her dreams and is freed from the prejudice that still informs the way society treats the transgender community.