Often, trans people are treated badly by people on trains, who are most often not sensitised–for their interactions are limited to the former begging for money from the latter. But recently, they had started to evoke respect, as they were appointed as staff at 11 railway stations in Kochi Metro's Aluva-Palrivattom corridor. The Kochi Metro has taken the initiative to identify and employ 23 transgender people for jobs at its stations.
But, recently, there have been several reports emerging that these employees are not able to afford basic accommodation, because of the low salaries they are being paid. Responding to this situation, a few families in the locality have come forward to offer help to the struggling transgender employees of Kochi Metro.
A spokesperson from Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), in a chat with Times of India, said,
"The crisis of the transgender employees not being able to find a decent accommodation within the limits of their salary, which led to their opting out of the job, had come to the attention of the public lately. Around 2-3 families in the city have showed their willingness to provide accommodation for them."
Of the 23 transgender employees, eight have resigned already, owing to the unaffordable housing prices in the city. They were reportedly living in lodge-like houses that had tin roofs. They had to pay around Rs 400-600 every day for their accommodation in these houses.
Reshmi, a representative of KMRL, told The News Minute,
We have arranged for rooms in a hostel in Kakkanad, about 10 kilometres away from the metro station they work at. Twelve of them who needed accommodation have agreed to move into these rooms by July 1. KMRL will also be providing them with a transport facility so that they can report to work easily.