Beed woman cop who wants to undergo sex change fears for her job
Lalita Salve, who had sought her superiors' nod for gender re-assignment, speaks about why she took the decision and how her family has been rallying behind her. She says high court is her only hope now, as the police dept has scuttled her bid
mid-day exclusive "I have been living in a woman's body for nearly five years now, and it's becoming tougher for me by the day, to figure out life in the current state," Lalita Salve, a constable from Beed who had written to her superiors for leave to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, told mid-day a day after the Maharashtra police rejected her application. The only option left now, she added, is to knock the doors of the court.
Her lawyer Dr Syed Ejaz Abbas Naqvi said, "In the coming days, we will file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court." After serving in the Maharashtra police force for eight years, the 29-year-old had been seeking a month away to undergo the operation, and had applied for it. Her superiors, however, rejected her application, citing recruitment regulations and eligibility criteria.
Constable Lalita Salve
Talking exclusively to mid-day, Salve narrated her ordeal. "I have been noticing severe hormonal changes in my body over the last five years. It came to a point where I could no longer keep quiet about it and had to open up to someone. So, I spoke to my mother first, and she asked me to see some doctors in my hometown. They then asked me to see a doctor in Mumbai," she said.
Her uncle had brought her to Mumbai a few months ago, where she was referred to a surgeon in JJ hospital, who suggested her to undergo the surgery. After it had been confirmed that was the only option, she'd involved her family to help her to make a decision. "I had not told my father about it until recently.
When I opened up to him, to my delight, he took it very well. My only concern now is my job, as I am the only one in my family with a stable source of income; my parents work in farms of other people in my hometown and my two brothers do small jobs." While one of her brothers owns a mobile shop in their hometown, the other drives an autorickshaw.
Salve said even her family was worried about her job and hoped that she didn't lose it. Hence, they wanted her to inform the department first and seek permission of her superiors. But that didn't work out in her favour.
"Now, the high court is my only hope. I have complete faith in the judiciary, I am certain I'll get justice," she said, adding that the force should have some measures in place for people like her.
"I have been very active since the time I wore my uniform. I have been felicitated by schools and colleges for teaching a lesson to street harassers who trouble girl students. They call me 'mahila chedchad virodhi pathakachi madam'. I have served the department with utmost sincerity for the last eight years. And I will continue to do so, if they can accept me with my changed identity."
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