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Mangaluru's first transgender RJ to say 'Shubhamangala' on Radio Sarang

Sandhya C D'Souza
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Nov 20: She is hesitant to speak about her dreams. "I would prefer to achieve them first and then speak about them," she laughs. For over 15 years, Kajal, a member of the transgender community, harbored a dream of becoming a radio jockey. November 21 will mark a major milestone in her life with 'Shubamangala', a radio show she is anchoring for community radio Sarang, going on air.

In an exclusive interview with Daijiworld, Kajal reveals her love for the people of coastal Karnataka and is thankful that they did not shun her for being a transgender.

Kajal, now 28, first set foot in Mangaluru as part of a performer's troupe when she was around 15. "People showered me with so much of love and respect that I decided to make the coastal belt my permanent abode," she says.

Originally hailing from Mandya, Kajal settled in a rented place in Bramhavar in Udupi district nine years ago. Prior to that, she had worked in Mumbai.

She credits MGM College lecturer Manjunath Kamath in helping her to come into the mainstream. "Everything started when the film 'Naanu Avanalla Avalu' released. I was working with Ashreya Samudaaya Sangatanay, an NGO that works for the transgender community and was disappointed to know that the film won't be released in Udupi. A discussion started in a WhatsApp group and it was decided to arrange screening of the film in Udupi and Manjunath Kamath played a huge role in that. However, midway of the screening I was depressed as the film beautifully depicted the harsh realities transgenders face. Kamath who understood my distress arranged counseling sessions. It was here, I revealed that I dreamt of being a radio jockey," says Kajal.

Manjunath put Kajal in touch with Avinash Kamath who helped her get a two month internship in a private TV channel, where she was trained to compere programmes. Manjunath also arranged English classes for Kajal.

Raviraj from Rangaboomi who came to know about Kajal cast her as a lead in the play 'ICU Noduve Ninna'. In one of the programmes, Kajal came in touch with Abhishek from community radio Sarang who offered her a show. "I was ecstatic. My dream had come true," she says. Next, the distinction holder in pre-university aspires to complete her graduation in BA.

On her background

"People suffering with gender issues will know the same at a very young age. I always knew I had female qualities in me, and was not shy to accept it," she says.

"One cannot demand respect. They need to earn it. I live in a respected neighbourhood and work for my livelihood. Not once have I blamed my circumstances and taken shortcuts. As I live respectfully, people too respect me," she says.

She only asks the society to give people of transgender community a chance. Don’t look upon us differently. Accept us as a part of the society. Government too should help people from the community with more job opportunities, she stresses.

Kajal will discuss important issues that affect the community in her show ‘Shubhamangala’ which will be aired on radio Sarang (107.8 FM) every Tuesday between 5 pm to 6 pm. In the show, she will introduce herself as Kajal Bramhavar, an ode to people who gave her love, respect and an opportunity in mainstream devoid of prejudices.

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Comment on this article

  • D. F. Lobo, Vamanjoor, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Hi Kajal, you are a good human being and hence you have been placed in right place. All the best. Be happy. Hats off to those Samaritans who helped you to land on this platform.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nagesh Prabhu, Mangalore /abudhabi

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    I really appreciate Kajal. No doubt the dream came true but working towards aspirations at odd moments is not a joke. It is hard work and determination which made the difference.
    I profusely thank Manjunath Kamath, and also Avinash kamath and Abhishek for their valuable and timely help and guidance. Life is a journey and uncertain. Some of the things are beyond our reach and control. We are not going to live here permanently. In the journey, let us try to help as much as people we can. Let us not condemn or demean others based on caste, creed, religion, gender.
    Hope, every one of you would agree that God is there within everyone of us. Let us respect the soul in the person rather than the outside appearance. God has given us a chance to live with some or other purpose. Let us respect one another and try to help someone at the times of their need. If not, let us not trouble others. With this policy, we can try to extend bonding and live a peaceful life. Let us protect our surroundings and nature too. Let us be grateful to Almighty for wonderful opportunity given to us.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, Dubai

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Best of Luck

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Alva, Pamboor

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Great Kajol. There are good Samaritans like Manjunath Sir around. Hats of to you Sir and good luck Kajol.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shanthi Marina Quadras, Dubai

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Good news!!!Goodluck Kajal. Appreciate Mr. Manjunath Kamath for your selfless support to Kajal for bringing her into mainstream. Hoping all of us should come forward and accept transgenders as our brothers and sisters and should encourage their talents.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascaarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    When we married people say, good morning, there is no meaning, with our everyday problems, better to say good mourning. But, when a transgender says, Shubhamangala, surely, it looks genuine.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • mustafa, havanje

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    best of luck kajal thank u manjunath sir and all who supported her .

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jd, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    All the best kahale. Beautiful morning news. All those who helped her, God bless. We must give mainstream permanent jobs to transgender community,.

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Anything First has to be from Mangaluru ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivar, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Mumbai has to learn lots from Mangalore.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Mon, Nov 20 2017

    Jossey Sir...In Kerala some Transgenders are working in Metro...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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