Nisha Rao became the first transgender woman to secure admission in the M.Phil. program at Karachi University (KU) in 2021. According to the university’s public relations office, she is the first transgender to get admission in KU in any course. So what is Nisha Rao’s story?
Nisha Rao’s story
Nisha Rao left her home in Lahore when she was 18 and came to Karachi. She was forced to beg on the streets like other transgenders for the sake of survival. She was even coerced into sex work as most transgenders are made to do. But she refused. Instead, she used the money she collected from begging to pay for law classes. Eventually, in 2020, Nisha Rao was able to get a law license, and join the Karachi Bar Association. Thus, Rao saw a very tough time initially which is the fate of all transgenders in Pakistan. But because of her determination and efforts, she refused the same fate. She chose to rise because of her problems and worked hard through dark days.
Hope to Inspire Others
In 2021, her resolve and will power helped her gain admission into the MPhil Program at KU. She also founded the Trans Pride Society at KU which is an NGO for the protection of rights of transgender people at university. Upon admission into the law program, the Trans Pride society happily posted about her success on Instagram, quoting,
Nisha is ecstatic for the next step in her journey as Pakistan’s First Transgender Lawyer…
The caption further added a message of inspiration stating, that Nisha Rao hopes to motivate all ‘community members’ to work hard to reach their goals with resolute faith in the face of all kinds of opposition – something that Rao endured endlessly. Furthermore, she wished everyone good qualities of ‘perseverance, determination and resilience’ in their respective journeys and thanks everyone for supporting her cause.
The Pakistan government finally passed a law in 2018, recognizing the transgender community as citizens with equal rights in need of protection from discrimination and violence like everyone else. This is good for people like Nisha Rao, who have had to deal with constrains and pressures from all sides.
Thus, Nisha Rao’s strength of character are an inspiration for many like her, in the face of harassment she and others like her face everyday. The university wishes to support her in her endeavours all the way. We also wish her the best for the future and hope she continues to inspire and motivate the young generations for years to come.