11-07-2017 04:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Life comes full circle for Joyita Mondal, know how...
Joyita Mondal, a transgender is an epitome of the power of human spirit. From being taunted and forced to beg for a living to being appointed to the bench of a National Lok Adalat, life has come full circle for this determined woman.
Mondal was appointed to the bench of a National Lok Adalat in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal on Saturday, 8th July. It was a moment of triumph over hardships when she drove into the Islampur court in a car bearing a red plaque stating ‘judgeship on duty’.
Her appointment to the court called for celebrations among members of the entire community and LGBTQ population at large.
Unlike her name, Joyita’s past was dark and without a trace of joy. Although she had joined a college in Kolkata, she had to drop out due to the relentless taunts of her classmates.
To make ends meet, she worked at a call centre with a prominent national bank. Unfortunately, she was not spared there too. Though she never faced physical abuse, she was constantly subject to insensitive jokes and taunts that scarred her mind. People at the bank talked about her, stared and made fun of her to such an extent that one day she decided to call it quits.
Left with no help, she was forced to beg for a living. She performed badhais at weddings and other ceremonies along with other members of her community. Once, she had to sleep in a bus stand after she was turned away by hotels because of her gender. The irony of the story is that the bus stand is just five minutes away from the court to which she is now appointed as a judge.
Not one to resign to her fate, Joyita worked relentlessly as a social worker. She had visited Islampur for the first time while working for a self-help group (SHG) in Siliguri which was involved in raising awareness about HIV.
She worked with nearly 200 transgender women in Islampur. She guided many of them in the field of geriatric care. She also designed courses in sewing and trained many of them to become beauticians.
It was this rigorous social work in Islampur that elevated her to the bench of Lok Adalat. She is appointed by the office of the sub-divisional legal services committee of Islampur under the ‘learned judges’ category and at the Adalat, she will be working on cases related to bank loans.
There is a saying - If you give life all you've got, life will return to you what you've never got. Joyita Mondal gave her all to life even though it had dealt a cruel blow on her. Today, life smiles back at her and she has earned all the respect that she longed for.
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