Pakistan’s first transgender lawyer: Nisha Rao makes incredible journey from streets to courts

While explaining her ordeal and life’s toughest battle, Nisha said, she used to beg in the morning and study at night.

Pakistan's first transgender lawyer

Karachi-based, Nisha Rao, 28, has the honor of becoming the first transgender lawyer of Pakistan, reported Independent Urdu on Wednesday.

She said the brutal behavior of police with her and the transgender community goaded her to take up the profession of law. In an interview with the Independent Urdu, Rao said that the abusive behavior of police intimidated her when she used to beg on the roads of Karachi. Then her teacher advised her to overcome her fears by becoming a lawyer. She quoted her mentor as saying that, police will be afraid of her once she becomes a lawyer.

She attained her Law degree from Karachi’s Sindh Muslim Law College in 2018. So far she has fought 50 cases. Rao hails from Lahore but fled to Karachi to escape the physical abuse of her family after her matriculation. While explaining her ordeal and life’s toughest battle, Nisha said, she used to beg in the morning and study at night.

Read more: First female transgender officially represent Pakistan at UN CEDAW

“’I have always had feminine habits. I used to sit in the madrassa with the girls and recite the Qur’an. She wore a headscarf and applied lipstick. Because of these actions, I was often beaten by my family. At school, children used to call me Rima Sharmili and I used to cry a lot,” said Rao to the media outlet.

She said she realized about her identity when she reached ninth grade. Rao said God had made her different. She said she felt depressed at first but motivated herself with positive thoughts.

She said she convinced herself and said that she is blessed with an intelligent mind and beautiful hands, feet, and eyes. Rao said she convinced herself to do something big in her life but unfortunately her family did not support her at that time.

Rao said that she began her education at Karachi University and obtained a degree in International Relations. The lawyer said she made good friends in the varsity. Moreover, her fellow lawyers at City Court are also humble with her. They guide and help her.

Nisha wishes to serve the transgender community through her non-government organization. She is mulling to set up a helpline where transgender can guide other community members. Also, building up an old age home for transgender is on her to-do list.


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