The Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL) has proposed to provide the transgender community with jobs in customer relations, housekeeping and crowd management. KMRL will become the first metro service in India to employ transgenders as its staff members. KMRL will become operational next year. The KMRL Managing Director, Elias George said that the decision was taken considering the social stigma the community faces.
“This will be the first time a metro rail body will give employment to transgenders, who find it difficult to get absorbed in the mainstream job market. They would not be the KMRL staff, but would be part of the system,’’ he added. He said they would be hired on an experimental basis after a security screening by the police. Kochi Metro will also have the largest number of women staff members once it becomes operational, reported India Times.
According to the government, there are about 25,000 transgenders in the state. Last year, Kerala had become the first state in India to announce a transgender policy. The Kerala Department of Social Justice issued a policy that made it mandatory to enforce the constitutional rights of transgenders, taking into account the Supreme Court judgement (2014) along with the findings of the survey in the state.
The policy covers all the categories of transgenders and intersex people. It also emphasises the rights of the minority group to self-identify themselves as man, woman or transgender as stated in the Supreme Court judgement. It enables them to have equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without violence and equitable right in all decision making bodies.