Poverty has forced a 24-year-old youth to turn himself into a woman in the district. The youth, a native of Vaddera Colony in the mandal, underwent a sex change operation in Mumbai and returned home recently.
"My family members were shocked and cried for two days when I informed them about the sex change operation," Kondapalli Shankar aka Ankita told TOI. Shankar went under the scalpel six months ago in a Mumbai hospital.
But what made Shankar transform himself into a woman? He said acute poverty and humiliation by neighbours forced him to migrate to Mumbai in search of livelihood. "Nobody gives a job to a man. So I had decided to become a woman and earn money," he said. "My immediate priority is to earn money and bail out my poor family from the severe financial problems," he said. Shankar lost his father Ramchander when he was a small child, and could not pursue education, which made it difficult for him to get any job. He disappeared from the village a year ago. "It took two months for us to trace him out. We were worried when he didn't call us immediately," his brother Purushotham, a daily wage labourer, said.
Ankita, attired in a colourful sari and bangles, says she now earns Rs 3,000 a month at a small firm in Mumbai.