You see them begging at signals or in public transportations, at times we spare them a coin or two and see them the next day doing the same. But Joyita Mondal, a transgender who used to beg just like the one you have seen in the local trains is today a judge. On July 8 she drove into the Uttar Dinajpur district’s Islampur court premises in a white car with a red plaque reading ‘judgeship on duty’ for a National Lok Adalat in West Bengal. And Joyita’s journey to becoming a judge is similar to that of most transgenders in our country. But Joyita has changed her story and is determined to achieve whatever she wants. The promotion given to Joyita has been accepted as a proud moment by the members of the entire community and LGBTQ population.

Joyita went through bullying from her classmates while studying in a college in Kolkata and hence dropped out. She also worked at a call centre which she was not proud about. As problems continued for her she took to begging on the streets and used to perform badhais at weddings and other functions along with other members of her community.  The court is around five minutes from the bus stand where she had slept after hotels did not let her in 2010 due to her gender. Mandal was appointed by the office of the sub-divisional legal services committee of Islampur under the ‘learned judges’ category. She will be working on cases related to bank loans in the court. The position was given to her as a recognition of the social work she has done. She then became a social worker and volunteered in many charitable works. Transgender employees from Kochi Metro have a simple request for us, treat them as equals! Watch video

“This is the first time that a person from the community has got this opportunity. It is not just about empowerment. This is about getting into the system and getting the authority to make a difference,” The Times of India quoted Abheena Aher, founder of Trans Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust. As per reports her friends recall her as the founder of Dinajpur Notun Aalo Society. Her Facebook timeline is flooded with congratulatory messages from her friends and well wishers. The elevation of her position with the National Lok Adalat bench along with an additional sessions judge and an advocate is raising success hopes among the community members.