GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Akkai Padmashali, Social and Political Activist, Founder of ONDEDE (21.3.2022)

Dr. Akkai Padmashali, spoke in depth the trajectory of de-criminalizing the transgender community specifically in relation to Section 377 of IPC. She traced the history of criminalizing the transgender from the time of Lord Macaulay. She elaborated the Delhi High Court verdict that de-criminalized the transgender community, which was again over turned by the hon’ble Supreme Court of India. And finally, after a long drawn battle, the Supreme Court of India in 2018 decriminalised the transgender community. She elaborated the struggles that she encountered in the entire process.

Dr. Akkai spoke the right to privacy as an essential component of every individual and urged that the community needs to be treated as human beings, as it is their first basic right that they too are entitled to. The various health issues and police brutality was also highlighted by her. She spoke on the various legislative provisions and Transgender policies that are formulated by the state and stressed the need for a more inclusive approach.

She stressed the need to imbibe the values that are inclusive as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, Constitutional values and equality that is advocated through the Preamble and the right to decide the gender. She also vouched for creating greater awareness on the issue and to conduct more sensitization programmes.

After the gust lecture, the event was followed by an interactive session. The program was presided by Dr. Om Prakash, Principal, RCL and Dr. Rose Varghese, Director (Academics),RCL. The Program Co-ordinators and Assistant Professors of RCL Ms. Rajashree K and Ms. Ayesha Rao, were also present on the occasion.