Mumbai: 5-year-old boy raised as a girl to undergo genital reconstruction surgery

Mumbai: A 5-year-old girl from Majalgaon in Beed district is scheduled to undergo genital reconstruction surgery at the State-run St George Hospital, Mumbai, as her case seems to be similar to that of Constable Lalit Salve. Salve was born with under-developed genitalia and underwent sex-reassignment surgery in May 2018. Dr Rajat Kapoor, the plastic surgeon who had operated on Salve, said that the five-year-old would be the youngest person to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

The child’s father, Mohammad Khan, said three years after her birth, they realised that their child was actually a male with underdeveloped genitals. “For three years, the child had been raised as a girl but in 2016 she began scratching her genitals, which seemed peculiar. A doctor from Beed asked us to get her blood test done in Mumbai,” said Khan.

He further added that the blood test report confirmed that the child was a male. “The cost of surgery is too prohibitive, but when I learned about Constable Lalit Salve, who underwent surgery at St George Hospital, I was relieved and hoped my child will be fine,” Khan said. The family contacted Salve after they returned to Beed and showed him all the reports, after which he asked them to meet Dr Kapoor.

Dr Kapoor said that it is not easy for a family to accept that their child is born with underdeveloped genitals and so they hesitate to come forward. “I would like to thank Lalit Salve, as his story has made many people come forward for such a surgery. Moreover, this child’s case is similar to Salve’s. Next month, we will operate on the child as primary tests have been done,” he added. Gender confusion “We are not very educated and all these things are new to us. When I went to have the child’s Aadhaar card made, I was asked to select a gender. But I didn’t know what to write because I suspected that the child may be a male. So I returned without filling the forms. For the same reason, I could not admit him to a school. His elder sister teaches him at home,” said Khan.

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