Two transgender constables from the Chattisgarh Police’s specialised Bastar Fighters unit will for the first time participate in the Republic Day parade in Jagdalpur in presence of chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday.
The Chhattisgarh Police recruited 13 transgender people as constables in 2021. Nine of them were inducted into the unit for deployment in the Maoist-hit Bastar.
“Platoons of Bastar Fighters men, women, and third gender would participate in the Republic Day parade in Jagdalpur on Thursday. This is the first time in the state that people from the third gender are participating in the parade,” said inspector general of police (Bastar Range) Sunderaj P.
He added Baghel will attend the parade as chief guest. “This is a significant and important opportunity for the third gender [and] will surely boost the morale and make the police force more inclusive and progressive.”
Riya Mandavi, one of the two, called their participation in the parade a proud moment for the entire community. “Earlier we were treated differently and were discriminated against [and not allowed to do] things which normally men or women do. But after being selected for the police force, we got a positive identity and now we are being looked after with respect and dignity.”
Mandavi said participation in the Republic Day parade is a dream come true. “We are grateful to the government and police department for this opportunity.”
Vidhya Rajpoot, a member of the Third Gender Welfare Board, called the inclusion of the two in the parade a remarkable achievement and a proud moment for the community.