Padmini Prakash, a 31-year-old transgender from Coimbatore, the sixteenth largest urban city of India says she’s freed herself from her social and personal demons. Padmini Prakash became the first transgender woman to read the news on live TV which is in itself a great step for the country who legally recognized third gender citizens back in April.
At 7pm on Independence Day this year, when the lights went on and the cameras started rolling in the Lotus News Channel studios, and she read out the day’s headlines from a teleprompter. Padmini has acted in a television serial and she’s dealt with various kinds of pressure in the past, especially during her days as a vocal social activist for transgender rights, protesting against the discrimination, harassment and stigma that sexual minorities face.
But Padmini says she initially found it daunting to anchor a live news show because there is little leeway for error and it involves the responsibility of being unbiased and connecting with viewers.
“I was very worried because I also had to focus on my diction and maintain a steady narrative pace to ensure that there was clarity and viewers could understand me,” Padmini said.
But she hit the ground running and has won praise from her employers, members of the transgender community and media veterans. A month after she started, Padmini has become the face of the Coimbatore-based Lotus News Channel’s daily 7pm special bulletin.
Rose Venkatesan whois India’s first transgender to become a television talk show host, says when representatives of the television channel asked her about Padmini, she had no doubts about recommending her. “I knew that she was a tough and determined person. I knew she was capable of handling the pressure,” she said.