Dr Koyyala Ruth Paul John, a transgender, has secured admission in Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Emergency Medicine at ESI College in Hyderabad, with her colleagues at the Osmania General Hospital and an NGO coming forward to pay the fee.
While Osmania General Hospital (OGH) doctors and staff contributed Rs1 lakh, the remaining Rs1.5 lakh came from Helping Hand Foundation-Support for Educational and Economic Development (HHF-SEED).
With the help from Good Samaritans, Dr Ruth, an orphan, is all set to achieve her dream. She is said to be the first transgender to do masters in medicine.
Dr Ruth is currently working as Medical Officer in OGH in the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centre that deals with HIV/AIDS.
Last year, Dr Ruth along with Prachi Rathod became the first transgenders to get government jobs in Telangana. Both were appointed as medical officers in the OGH.
This was a major success by the transgender community in its fight to be treated at par with others in the matter of appointments in the government sector.
The appointments finally ended social exclusion and discrimination they were subjected to despite their qualification.
Hailing from Khammam, Dr Ruth was rejected by 15 hospitals in Hyderabad ever since she completed MBBS from Malla Reddy Institute of Medical Sciences.
After overcoming all the odds, Dr Ruth had completed her MBBS in 2018.
However, she had to battle discrimination, and after a long struggle secured the appointment in a government-run hospital.
The 28-year-old continued her fight and qualified in NEET PG exam in 2021. She, however, was denied a seat under the transgender category, and instead was shortlisted for counselling under the female category.
She argued that it was a violation of the Supreme Court’s NALSA judgement of 2014. The Supreme Court had recognised transgenders as third gender and provided reservation to them in admission to education institutions and jobs.
Dr Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRUHS), which regulates admissions in medical colleges in Telangana, informed her that her MBBS certificates and identities as per government documents were mismatched. Though she submitted the transgender ID certificate given by the Telangana government and other documents, but the authorities were not convinced.
She finally secured admission in ESI College. As she had to pay a fee of Rs 2.5 lakh, OGH Superintendent Dr B. Nagender took the initiative to mobilise the money. Doctors and other staff at OGH and the NGO contributed the required funds.
Dr Ruth thanked them for the help to continue her education and realise her childhood dream.