In a first of its kind effort by any government-owned company, the Kochi Metro has appointed 23 employees from the transgender community. In a move to promote rightful share of employment for transgenders, the Kochi metro will engage them in serving passengers and selling tickets in the Aluva-Palrivattom corridor.
This is perhaps for the first time that a government-run company has formally recruited transgenders. "We would like to give members of the transgender community their rightful share in different jobs at stations. There will be no discrimination between them and women workers," said Elias George, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd MD told The Hindu.
The initiative hopes to change the society's perception of those from the transgender community. Giving them the equal opportunity to work with men and women and earn a dignified life is the aim, officials added.
With this, Kochi metro hopes to set a precedent and make way for firms, both private and government, come forward to give transgender people the opportunity to work. Due to stereotyping people from the community are denied jobs and education but the trend is slowly changing. All transgender employees of the Kochi metro will be given designated work at ticket counters, housekeeping functions and passenger service. Those appointed are ecstatic to be working in an organised sector.
"Even when we do get jobs, we are often made fun of. If I work in an office, the other workers, for example, will make fun of how I walk like a woman. I will be the laughingstock," the Hindu quoted one of the newly appointed staff as saying. Workers are being trained and will be deputed in five stations between Palarivattom and Maharaja's College Ground on this corridor.