Transgender activist Meera Parida as the vice president of Biju Mahila Janata Dal (BMJD)

Bhubaneswar: The president of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik  appointed transgender activist Meera Parida as the vice president of Biju Mahila Janata Dal (BMJD), the party’s women’s wing, on friday. Meera is a social activist, chair person of All Odisha Third Gender Welfare Trust, co-founder of “Sakha- the first community based organisation (CBO)” which has been working for the LGBT community in the state and also was the president of the Odisha Kinnar Mahasangha for 7 long years from 2009-2016.

However, Meera Parida’s appointment, doesn’t have to do with her transgender status; but truly an identification of the path-breaking deeds She has done as an activist struggling for the rights and development of her community, HIV/AIDS and several other activists. It is the first case on the political history of Odisha that a member of LGBTQ community has been nominated as the vice president of the women’s wing of a political party.  

Meera Parida
Meera Parida

The journey from an undistinguished village in Begunia area of Khordha district to the White House did not come easy. As like all the members of her community, she had also faced the abuses of all. Having a sex change operation along the way, She made her transition from Mayadhar Parida to Meera Parida.

“I’ve worked  for the ruling Biju Janata Dal for over a decade and I’ve never once felt unwelcome in my interactions with Mr. Naveen Pattanaik or other leaders of this party, either men or women. It’s my good work which has fetched me to this post, not my gender. I’m sure I’ll be accepted by the women of the party without any type of reservations.”  Meera Parida says. Similarly,  BMJD president Minati Behera in a press release informed that Sanjukta Behera has been appointed as the working president of Gajapati district.