Mumbai: The sex reassignment surgery of Police Constable Lalit Salve has inspired 12 others from across the state, most of them female, to enquire about the procedure. The parents of a five-year-old child from Beed district had approached Salve on the subject, who directed them to St George Hospital.
On Wednesday, a 36-year-old woman from Assam approached the State-run St George hospital for the same procedure.Speaking to The Free Press Journal from his hometown Beed, Salve said he had so far received as many as five inquiries about sex change, with people coming to meet him at home.
“Five people, ranging from 5-44 years, asked me for help. I am not sure what the issue is with the five-year-old girl but her family has noticed some gender issues, so they brought her to me. One among the five is a man,” he said. Rita Devi underwent preliminary tests at the hospital, as advised by doctors on Friday. Rita said she had never felt like a girl on the inside but fear of society kept her from coming forward to talk about the subject. “When I learnt that a constable from Beed had undergone this surgery successfully, it gave me confidence. With support from my family and friends, I came to Mumbai to enquire about the surgery,” she added.However, she has been asked to get official confirmation from the Assam government, as without its permission, she cannot go ahead with the process. Dr Madhukar Gaikwad, medical superintendent, St George Hospital, said, “We cannot perform the sex reassignment surgery on her until she gets official confirmation from the Assam government, as she works for the electricity board. Medical leave for at least a month is mandatory.” Gaikwad further said that Rita’s case was different from Lalit’s as X-rays have shown her genitals to be fully formed.
“In Lalit’s case, the genitals were under-developed, which we had to dig out from under the skin and used plastic surgery to create a penis. For now, however, we cannot say anything for sure as she has to undergo more tests,” he added.