In a first, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL) formally appoints transgenders for jobs. Twenty-three of the 530 Kudumbasree workers will be from the transgender community and will be posted at 11 stations in the metro’s Aluva-Palarivattom corridor.
The ones who are better educated will be posted at ticket counters, while the rest will be assigned housekeeping jobs.
“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, KMRL’s MD, as reported by The Hindu.
“The metro agency is the first government-owned company in India to formally appoint them. I hope other firms in Kerala give them a respectable opportunity to work. Society’s mindset towards them will change only by direct interaction with them. Moreover, members of that community cannot at all be blamed since they are born with such a biological situation,” he added.
Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment program implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. The name Kudumbashree in the Malayalam language means ‘prosperity of the family’. Its sources said that the 530-member workforce is ready to take up tasks pertaining to customer relations, parking, gardening and to man the coach depot canteen. They are likely to work in two to three shifts, depending on need.
All the workers have been trained in soft and technical skills and also imparted lessons in safety. Their appointment was made after a written test and an interview conducted jointly by the KMRL and Kudumbashree. Around 41,000 candidates appeared for the test.
Official sources have also said more workers are currently undergoing training to be deputed at five stations between Palarivattom and Maharaja’s College Ground.
The Logical Indian welcomes Kochi Metro’s move to uplift the status of transgenders in our society. The community has been subject to immense discrimination and it was essential that steps are taken to change people’s reservation about them.