Kochi, Kerala: To ensure transgender people in India get a dignified livelihood, Kochi Metro Rail in Kerala has come forward to hire them. From ticketing, housekeeping and customer care at the stations, 60 posts have been reserved for the third gender.
While 23 vacancies have already been filled, the interview process is still on.
Rashmi CR from Kochi Metro Rail said that transgender people are seen struggling to get the right opportunities and through this initiative, they expect that people will be more accepting of them and other companies too will come forward to employ them.
Devika (name changed), 32, is a transgender who used to work in a dance troupe earlier. She is one of the 23 recent hires by Kochi Metro Rail.
“I just can’t hold my excitement. All of us who have been trained to work at the Metro stations hope that we will get respect and love from our employers, passengers and co-workers. We will be busting stereotypes,” she told NDTV.
In a ground-breaking judgement in 2014, the Supreme Court granted legal status to transgender people and recognized them as the third gender. They were also given the right to marry and inherit property, and became eligible for quotas in jobs and educational institutions.
Kudumbashree, a women’s community organisation in Kerala, is helping to identify and screen transgender women for various jobs at Kochi Metro Rail. The women are being trained for their jobs.
“They are as much a part of our society as you and I, yet they have been marginalised and alienated for so long,” said Dilraj KR, a project manager at Kudumbashree. “We hope that with proper jobs, they will be more accepted and respected.”
(With Inputs from Sneha Mary Koshy and Thomson Reuters Foundation)