Not her appearance, but her work defines her. Unapologetic about who she is, this trans woman fought for her identity, women and child rights in transgender communities to build a more inclusive world. A prominent activist, journalist and now a politician. She is unstoppable.
On Tuesday, the 134-year-old party, Congress, appointed Apsara Reddy, as the national general secretary of its women’s wing, the All India Mahila Congress.
With this, she becomes the first transgender person to be appointed as a general secretary of any political party. While taking to ANI, Reddy says, “All my life, transgender women have been told that you will never be able to make it in your life. To be welcomed into one of India’s largest and oldest national parties is hugely emotional for me.”
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 8, 2019
She continues, “Of course there have been issues of discrimination, issues of people second-guessing my intentions, people telling – you will never be good at what you do, people mocking you, always wanting you to push you to the sidelines. But, I think, I have always been a fighter, and I believe in the power of mind…”
But who is Apsara Reddy?
- Apsara Reddy was born and brought up in Injambakkam on the East Coast Road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her father’s name is Ramesh Reddy and her mother’s name is Anuradha Reddy.
- Her father was an alcoholic and it was her mother who stood by her through the difficult circumstances and accepted her for who she is, despite taunts and derogatory remarks from neighbors.
- Drinking habit of her father made situations worse at home and soon Reddy was out of school because her parents couldn’t afford her fees.
- She did her graduation in Journalism from Monash University and Masters in Broadcasting with a special focus on Developmental Economics from London’s City University.
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- She started her career by working in BBC World Service, and later she worked in The Hindu, Commonwealth Secretariat in London, New Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle.
- She has written numerous columns on the topics related to consumerism, politics, education and celebrity lifestyles.
- She interviewed popular personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Ex-PM Australia John Howard, F1 racer Michael Schumacher, AR Rahman, and others.
- Further, she has also appeared in a Television show in Tamil Nadu and in 2013, she started hosting Natpudan Apsara, a Tamil show that aired on Thanthi TV.
- However, joining Congress as the National Secretary of the party isn’t her first venture into politics. She worked as an Indian Consulate in Melbourne as a media adviser to the Consulate General, Dr. T.J. Rao.
- Between 2016 and 2018, Reddy also served as a spokesperson of the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and also worked for a brief period in the BJP.
- She was handpicked by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa for her role in the AIADMK and for her political journey, she solely credits Amma (Jayalalitha)
We wish her all the best!