Congress appoints Apsara Reddy as the first transgender National General Secretary of its Women’s Wing
In a first, the Indian National Congress on Tuesday appointed transgender activist Apsara Reddy as a national general secretary of its women’s wing, All India Mahila Congress by INC President Rahul Gandhi on 08 January 2019.
Reddy has worked with the BBC World Service, The Hindu, Commonwealth Secretariat in London, New Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle. She has written columns on topics including consumerism, politics, celebrity lifestyles and education.
She also raised the Transgender Bill issue and said, “BJP government has this patronising attitude towards us. We don’t need charity, we need assistance to bridge the inequality meted out to us for far too long. They use words like rehabilitation. What the community truly needs is education and equal opportunity. Most importantly political recognition.”
“All my life, transgender women have been told that you’ll 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,” said Apsara upon joining the Congress.
Apsara further said “I come from a background where I was exposed to many prejudices and injustices quite early on. The hypocrisy and discrimination only motivated me to work against injustice. India is being governed by forces that place far more importance on religious identity than the rights and dignity of women. Congress is truly a party that built India and sustained us for generations with good policy and a sensitive and inclusive approach in governance. Rahul Gandhi ji’s commitment to fair representation of women, women-centric manifesto goals and dynamism are truly inspiring and I would be delighted to serve women across the country under his leadership.”
Being a woman, Apsara feels is a blessing and says, “Over 40% of Indian women according to the Human Development Report’s Gender Inequality Index suffer abuse, neglect or violence at the hands of their husbands or family members. Girl child rape is at an all-time high. To protect women from crimes and abuse we need to embolden their voices, frame policies that push for intervention and strengthen our social justice mechanisms.”
Taking further on the BJP in her home-state Tamil Nadu, Apsara says, “AIADMK government is playing into the hands of the BJP. Sterlite Industries protest saw the killing of many innocent civilians, the eight-lane highway project will displace lakhs of farmers and the forced NEET Medical Entrance exam claimed the life of a bright young Dalit student. Never in the history of any State has a Central Minister audited the office and the chief of staff of a sitting Chief Minister. It happened in TN. I will work in the grassroots to ensure that the BJP’s sinister plans for TN will not take shape. And ensure Congress returns to power in TN.”
Known for her social activism since college-days, Apsara has also taken up high-profile cases of child rape and voiced out her support for the victims. Talking about her agenda as the new National General Secretary of the Women’s Unit, she said that she will work towards women’s economic empowerment, fighting against social injustices, helping women find their human rights and help contribute to the Congress party’s manifesto with women-centric policies. “I am truly excited to work with the dynamic President of the AIMC, Sushmita ji as she embodies strength, courage and a contagious determination to do the right-thing for women,” she added.
Laying out her plans as the newly appointed General Secretary, she said, “I will meet with a cross-section of women to address issues pertaining to their rights. This coming election I will campaign vociferously against the fascist BJP dictatorship that drives a coloured agenda that reduces people to what they eat, how they pray and how they love!”
Source : LDesire