Miss Transqueen beauty pageant takes place in Northern India

A beauty pageant for the transgender community takes place in India's northern Haryana state.

INDIA (Reuters) - A beauty pageant for the transgender community took place in India's northern Haryana state on Sunday (Aug 27).

Sixteen participants representing different Indian states walked the runway during the Miss Transqueen India contest.

Nitasha Biswas, a 26-year-old postgraduate in business management from India's eastern Kolkata city, was crowned the winner.

Loiloi from India's northeastern Manipur state bagged the first runner-up position, and Ragasya from India's southern Chennai city was crowned the second runner-up.

Transgender people are often driven to the fringes of Indian society, with many forced into begging and prostitution.

In April 2014, India's apex court recognised transgender as a legal third gender, and called on the government to ensure equal treatment, but abuse and exploitation are still widespread.

Many of 490,000-strong community lack formal education and are denied jobs.