Meet Nitasha Biswas from Kolkata, India’s first Miss Transqueen
New Delhi, August 29: Over the years, India has produced several beauty queens, right from Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Lara Dutt, who had brought laurels for the country at various international podiums.
Now, it's the turn of Nitasha Biswas, the 26-year-old from Kolkata, West Bengal, who on Sunday after winning the coveted Miss Transqueen India 2017, hosted in Gurugram, is all set to participate at the Miss International Transqueen in Thailand, slated be held in March 2018.
In fact, Nitasha created a history of sort by winning the first edition of the beauty contest. Nitasha, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Management, is not your regular beauty queen, but a transwoman who has faced several hardships and discrimination because of her gender. Thus, winning the country's first beauty contest for transwoman is no mean feat.
The contest is the first of its kind in India for transgenders who still have no basic rights like the rest of us. The idea of the event was to celebrate beauty and gender fluidity in a big manner.
Along with Nitasha, the other two winners of the beauty pageant are Loiloi Haorongbam from Manipur--the first runner-up--and Ragasiya, representing Tamil Nadu, the second runner-up.
The contest saw participation of 16 transwomen from across the country who won over a group of eight judges, comprising of social activists, actors, beauty experts and media professionals, with their beauty, poise and intellect.
These 16 transwomen were first selected from a group of 1,500 transwomen from across India. Before the contest, the 16 participants went through various grooming sessions to give their best on the D-day.
The idea of hosting the unique contest was to give a platform to transwomen to showcase their talents and highlight the issues faced by the transgender community.
Nitasha said that she wanted to work for education of transwomen. She stressed that society collectively needs to pitch in for this community. "Many transgender women are going through a lot of molestation, pain and lack of family support. They are getting into sex work. So, it is time that every sector of society needs to come out and help this community for its betterment."
Most of the contestants in the beauty pageant shared some heart-wrenching stories about their struggles. "My journey was not easy. I feel very privileged to be where I am today and knowing so much of struggles and hardships that I've gone through," Nitasha was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Talking about the forthcoming contest in Thailand, Nitasha said, "This is a very big responsibility. I always wanted to empower our system and our community because that's what is needed".
The contest holds great importance as it was the first pageant to be hosted on a national level for transwomen after the Nalsa judgment--the landmark 2014 Supreme Court decision to declare transgender people as third gender.
The very soul of the contest was to empower transsexuals, said a member of the organising committee of the contest.
Reena Rai, the brain behind the pageant, said that given the outlook majority Indians have towards transgenders, an event like this becomes important.