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Raja Rajeshwari Becomes first Indian Woman Judge in NY

SI Team
Saturday, May 2, 2015
SI Team
Chennai-born Raja Rajeswari has become the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in criminal court, New York City by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Rajeswari, 43, who had migrated to the U.S. from Chennai as a teenager, previously worked with the Richmond County District Attorney's Office for her entire career in several bureaus including Criminal Court, Narcotics, Supreme Court, and the Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureau, where she last served as Deputy Chief.

Rajeswari took the oath of office at a ceremony in New York City on Monday along with 27 other judges appointed earlier this month to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are part of the New York State Unified Court System. The mayor praised Rajeswari by saying she has "extraordinary, extraordinary empathy for others."

The mayor lauded her ability to speak in Indian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian languages, saying she put her history as an immigrant and ability to speak all these languages to work, "helping to reach immigrants" in the Staten Island communities where she served as an Assistant District Attorney.

According to Desi Talk newspaper, the new Indian born judge saw it as her to give the other immigrants confidence in the justice process and hopes to use her new position to improve the judicial system by encouraging interpreters to have more access to aid immigrants. The paper also quoted her saying that she had observed gender inequality even before coming to the US when some of her "brilliant" girlfriends in India were married off at the age of 14 and 15. "That has always stayed with me."

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