Born a male child, Joyonto sure had interests that girls would have. But this never bothered his parents who thought to themselves that the then three year old would in time learn to like the male sports like cricket and football. But things did not quite improve as his mother once reprimanded him for wearing a ‘lot of makeup’. Even the boys in his class bullied him because of his gesticulations and this made him leave the school.
Eventually he was once forced to beg and sleep on the streets after he left his home in 2009. Eight years later, Joyonto is now Joyeeta, India’s first transgender judge, and an inspiration to many who are forced to live from hand to mouth in her community. “I realised that somewhere there was a woman inside me, and I decided to leave my house to save my parents from humiliation,” she tells News18, adding that her determination to work for transgender community took her to Siliguri. Joyeeta started an NGO, Dinajpur Notun Alo Society, for the transgender community in the North Dinajpur district, where she got in touch with Islampur’s Deputy Collector and Magistrate Thanduk Sherpa. “He is my godfather, and whatever I am today, it is only because of him,” she says.
Joyeeta was appointed as a judge in Islampur Lok Adalat on July 8 for which her name was recommended by former additional district judge Subrata Poley. A lok adaalat, she says, comprises a senior judge, a lawyer, and a social worker.