How Job Denial Forced This Kerala Transwoman Seek Mercy Killing

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The Logical Indian Crew

How Job Denial Forced This Kerala Transwoman Seek Mercy Killing

In her plea, Aneera Kabeer complained that she could not work and live as a transwoman in a country like India. The 35-year-old alleged that nearly 14 schools rejected her despite having required qualifications, only because of her gender identity.

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Aneera Kabeer, a 35-year-old transwoman from Kerala approached the Legal Services Authority in January 2021, seeking the help of a lawyer to apply for 'euthanasia' in the High Court.

In her plea, she complained that she could not work and live as a transwoman in a country like India. Kabeer alleged that nearly 14 schools rejected her despite having required qualifications, only because of her gender identity.

Growing up in the Palakkad district, Kabeer has three master's degrees in Education, Political Science and Sociology, respectively. She has also qualified for the State Eligibility Test (SET), which allows her to teach senior school students.

However, the Kerala native alleged that she had attended 14 interviews so far, but was termed as ineligible as soon as she revealed her gender.

According to BBC News, she was later offered a part-time job at a government school but alleged she was dismissed in less than two months.

Having no other alternative, Kabeer then approached the state's legal aid services seeking euthanasia, or "mercy killing", on her behalf.

What Is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain and suffering. On March 9, 2018, the Supreme Court of India legalised passive euthanasia by withdrawing life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state. The decision was made as part of the verdict in a case involving Aruna Shanbaug, who had been in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) until she died in 2015.

Kabeer said that she had no intention of taking her own life, and what she did was not meant to serve as an example for others.

Kerala Education Minister Comes To Her Rescue

As soon as the news went viral, Kerala's education minister reacted immediately and met Kabeer. The transwoman told the minister that she was the only breadwinner of her family and that she had lost her brother to an accident recently. After the minister's intervention, she has now started another temporary job at a government office in Palakkad.

India is estimated to have around two million transgender people, though activists say the number is higher. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that they have the same rights as people of other genders.

However, they still struggle to access education and healthcare. Many are forced to make a living through begging or sex work.

Meanwhile, Kerala was the first state in India to declare a Transgender Policy after the landmark judgment of the Apex Court in 2014.

Also Read: MP School Teacher Donates All Retirement Benefits Worth Rs 40 Lakh To Poor Students

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Writer : Tashafi Nazir
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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Tashafi Nazir