Bengaluru: Transgender Akkai Padmashali was on Sunday awarded honorary doctorate in Bengaluru. The sexual minority activist is the first transgender in the country to be awarded with an honorary doctorate.
 
“I am thankful for the honour. I will have to fight for rights of people who have been oppressed, socially excluded,” said Akkai Padmashali.
 
Akkai is a male-to-female transgender. She is the founder-member of Ondede, an organisation that aims to create awareness about sexuality, sexual diversity and the right to choose one’s sexual orientation.
 
Confused with her sexual identity, Akkai tried to kill herself at the age of 12. She discontinued her studies after 10th grade due to gender discrimination. 
 
After working for four years as a sex worker, Akkai realised that she is not the only one and there are many like her.
 
Akkai was invited by the President of India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir.
 
The International Bar Association invited her to speak about the legal rights of sexual minorities, in a conference held at Tokyo in October 2014.