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Sunday 23 February 2020

Heidi Saadiya, first transgender broadcast journalist of Kerala

Kerala has also shown the way by providing reservation for students in colleges and appointing trans-persons in Kochi Metro and many more

Thiruvananthapuram: Heidi Saadiya has made history as Kerala’s first transgender broadcast journalist. Saadiya debuted by reporting the second lunar mission’s achievement when its landing module Vikram successfully separated from the orbiter on Monday.

State Health Minister KK Shylaja congratulated Saadiya, saying ‘she’ would be an inspiration to others.”Saadiya is an inspiration to other transgenders in the country. After her degree, she completed her PG Diploma in journalism and joined Kairali News and reported the achievement of Chandrayaan-2,” the minister wrote in a Facebook post, which also congratulated the engineers behind the Moon mission.

Saadiya, 22, said she was very proud to be part of the journalist fraternity.”There are many others like me who have joined the media profession, but I am the first to be a broadcast journalist. I am lucky to join this place. The responsibility of a journalist is very big and I understand the seriousness of this job,” she said.

Saadiya narrated the ordeals she had to face when she went to study medicine in Mangaluru. “I was ragged and humiliated and had to quit after six months. Later, I moved to Bengaluru where I underwent my sex reassignment surgery, for which my parents are still angry with me. But I hope they will understand someday,” she said.

After completing her BA (Literature) course from IGNOU, Saadiya joined an electronic journalism course in Thiruvananthapuram. “The friends at the journalism institute were very supportive and I passed with a first-class. Some of the media houses were not keen to engage me, but Kairali considered my credentials and gave me the opportunity,” she said.

Saadiya said it was difficult to break the barriers created by society.”We are not slaves of anyone. I want everyone to come out of their respective barriers and be themselves. If there are hardships in life, its always better to initiate some steps to come out of it. We need to utilise all the opportunities and do hard work,” she said.

The Left government in Kerala has been engaged in creating an inclusive environment for trans-people. The State was the first in the country to formulate a transgender policy. Kerala has also shown the way by providing reservation for students in colleges and appointing trans-persons in Kochi Metro and many more.

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