Padma Lakshmi, a physics graduate and former insurance agent, has made history as Kerala’s first transgender lawyer. She aims to use her legal acumen to ensure justice for the poor and marginalized.
Lakshmi’s journey to becoming a lawyer was not an easy one. She faced obstacles along the way, but her positive attitude and disregard for negativity helped her to achieve her goal. According to her, she focuses on the positive and ignores negativity, which she believes is one of her advantages.
“I ignore all forms of negativity, be it people or their comments. I focus on the positive. I believe that is one of my advantages.….If I focus on the negativity, I will have time only for that and will never move forward in life,” she told PTI.
While studying to become a lawyer, Lakshmi worked as an insurance agent for a private insurance company and LIC to meet her medical and education costs. However, she stopped working as an insurance agent after joining as a trainee with her senior, Advocate K V Bhadrakumari, to focus better on her legal career.
Lakshmi, who has been interning with Advocate Bhadrakumari since last November, said that her senior helped create a space for her among the big-wigs of the legal profession in the Kerala High Court. She was the first of over 1,500 law graduates to receive her enrollment certificate on Sunday, March 19, thanks to the members of the Kerala Bar Council.
Lakshmi’s plans for the future involve taking up cases where there has been a violation of fundamental rights and fighting to ensure justice for the marginalized. She has expressed her desire to fight for people like Vishwanathan from Wayanad or Madhu from Palakkad, who were victims of injustice due to poverty and voicelessness.
“Taking up cases where there has been a violation of fundamental rights and fighting to ensure justice for the marginalized, that is my plan, and that is my desire right now,” she said.
Lakshmi’s family, which includes a mother who is an advocate’s clerk and a father who used to work at Cochin Shipyard Ltd, has been a great source of support for her. The state Law Minister, P Rajeev and Higher Education Minister, R Bindu, congratulated Lakshmi on social media for her achievement.
Lakshmi’s success is a testament to her perseverance and hard work. She plans to learn about court proceedings and imbibe all that knowledge to fight for justice for the poor and voiceless. Her achievement should inspire more people from the transgender community to enter the legal profession and make a difference in the lives of marginalised people. While Lakshmi is the first transgender lawyer from Kerala, the first trans advocate in the country was Satyashri Sharmila from Tamil Nadu, who got enrolled in 2018.
“They always encouraged me to pursue my dreams with courage. So why should I fear anything?” she asked.