**Bhubaneswar:** When the whole media was busy capturing the State level Independence Day Parade in the PMG Marg and awaiting eagerly for the CM’s speech in the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the transgenders did their bit to showcase their patriotism.
After being denied entry to be a part of the ceremonial parade, they decided to march on some other ground to give respect and salutations to the country so that their 20 days of practice won’t go in vain.
A unit of 30 members of the transgenders community assembled at Nayapalli Durga Mandap early this morning at around 9 am and paraded along with other school children.
MLA Priyadarshi Mishra graced the occasion as the chief guest.
“Marching with the school children made us feel as a part of the mainstream. Though I am feeling let down by the last minute denial of the government to our participation in State-level ceremonial parade of the Independence Day, still we would continue our efforts in the coming days and reach not only to the main parade of Bhubaneswar, but also do Delhi one day,” said an optimistic Maneka Kinner, President, Transgenders Surakshya Trust.
“I feel elated and proud to be a part of the team performing the parade today. We will try to be a part of the main parade of the State next year by our continuous efforts,” said Sonam, another transgender.
Citing the far reaching effect of this historic event, Anoushka Kinner said,” Our efforts to be assimilated in the main stream will be reaped by our next generation.”
The transgenders were visibly very excited when they were hopeful to be a part of the main ceremonial parade of the State and it was viewed as a great step forward for the assimilation of the third gender into the mainstream society.
This had grabbed a lot of media attention as an initiative taken by the Odisha government, first time ever in the history of our country.
However, there hopes were crashed when the Home Department denied them on the grounds that they needed more practice.
“We have conducted the marching with full enthusiasm. Though denied by the State government after 20 days of practice, we have fulfilled our aspirations on our own. We will practice and make ourselves well prepared so that we can be a part of the main parade on the 26th of January,” said Rani, another transgender.