Sindhu Ganapathy’s appointment as the first transwoman Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) of Southern Railway marks a significant milestone in the journey towards inclusivity and acceptance in the Indian workforce. At the age of 37, Ms. Ganapathy has not only broken barriers but also set a precedent for the transgender community’s representation in prestigious government positions.
Early Career and the Onset of Transformation
Ms. Ganapathy’s career with the Railways began in 2003 when she joined as an Assistant. For years, life seemed straightforward until she started noticing hormonal changes that altered her physique, leading to a realization and acknowledgement of her gender identity. Despite finding a supportive environment within the railway premises, societal pressures and the lack of understanding from the outside world posed significant challenges, pushing her to leave her job in 2010 for a period of solitude among the transgender community.
The Journey Back to the Railways
After 18 months of introspection and seeking peace, Ms Ganapathy felt a strong desire to return to a respectable position within society and decided to rejoin the railways. Despite initial hesitations from the railway officials due to her gender transformation, the intervention and support from the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) leaders played a crucial role in her reinstatement. The railway administration conducted a medical examination and officially recognized her as a woman employee, allowing her to continue her service.