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Home > Sports > Doha Asian Games > Report

Sexual minorities in solidarity with Santhi

December 19, 2006 15:50 IST

Sexual minorities in Tamil Nadu have thrown their weight behind beleaguered athlete S Santhi, who will be stripped of her Doha Asian Games silver medal after having failed a gender verification test.

"We express full solidarity with her. This should be an eye-opener to the humanitarian discriminations faced by people with ambiguous gender," Tamil Nadu Aravanies (trans-genders) Association president P Asha Bharati said.

"Santhi, they say, does not have the full sexual characteristics of a woman. But she has done for this country what millions of normal men and women could not achieve," she said.

Santhi had proved that sexual minorities are not inferior to others but is still being punished for no fault of hers, she added.

"If at all sexual minorities want to participate in such events, is there a category for them? This is just one face of the social exclusiveness that we face throughout our life," Bharati said.

Sunil Menon of 'Sahodaran', a gay rights group in Chennai, also demanded that rules of such events be changed to accommodate those with ambiguous gender.

"As per reports, Santhi was denied a job by the Railway Board. Doesn't she have the right to live, to earn a livelihood," Bharati argued.

"Santhi has to support her poor parents who are labourers in a brick kiln. Is it fair to deny her a job just because she does not have the complete characteristics of a woman?"

The sexual minorities face a lot of human rights violations, she said, adding they did not get ration cards, voting rights or passports.

Also, the Indian Penal Code's section 377 on 'unnatural sex' denies them their basic right, Bharati said.

They are denied jobs both in the government as well as private sector, Menon said.

He, however, lauded Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who went ahead with rewarding Santhi with Rs 15 lakh and a television set despite the controversy.

"This is a recognition of the capabilities of the athlete who has achieved great heights despite all odds," he added.

The Indian Olympic Association had on Monday said that Santhi had failed the gender test and would be stripped of her 800 metres silver medal she won at Doha.

Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage

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Number of User Comments: 8

Sub: Santhi's problem ...

A grateful nation, particularly the people of Tamil Nadu had just hailed Santhi for her commendable performance at Doha. And in spite of her just ...

Posted by M. Shankar

Sub: Support for Shanthi

Being a proud Indian with Nationalist spirit,I wholeheartedly support Shanthi.she has indeed made us Indians proud. I was watching the race and what a superb ...

Posted by Dennison

Sub: santhi

i agree that a separate option in addition to the standard M/F should be made available. but hadn't the govt done something in this regard...or ...

Posted by Mridula Joshi

Sub: Minorities ....

This is totally ridiculous. The govt must take all necessary possbile steps for such minorities. Since we are now heading to new century with powerful ...

Posted by raja

Sub: sexual minorities back

When someone is able to achieve the achievement has to be recognized and nothing to look into the sex, anyway Santhi is not an animal ...

Posted by santhi R



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