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Kochi Metro Scripts History by Employing Transgender People

The upcoming Kochi Metro in Kerala will employ 23 persons from the third gender. Hindustan Times reported that they will be deployed in different sections, including housekeeping and ticket counters based on their qualifications. Similarly, Kochi opened a special school for the transgender. Growing recognition of this community is crucial for inclusive development. Historically, they are marginalized and living on the fringe of society and employment. In order to cope with rampant discrimination, Kerala introduced a transgender policy in 2015. After its formulation, Kerala becomes the first Indian state to formulate such policy.

Interestingly, the Union Government introduced the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 in Parliament. This proposed Bill escalated a debate in India which is largely ignored and inadequately documented. Several people appreciated this step and labeled it as a landmark Bill which is going to help more than 4.8 lakh transgender persons. In this backdrop, we are listing a set of provisions in the Bill.

Features of the Bill:

Ø The Bill defines a transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.

Ø The Bill defines a transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.

Ø The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in areas such as education, employment, and healthcare.

Ø The Bill directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes in these areas.

Ø Offences like compelling a transgender person to beg, denial of access to a public place, physical and sexual abuse, etc. would attract up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine.

The transgender community is one of the most marginalized communities in South Asia. It is evident that they don’t fit into the stereotypical categories of gender – male and female. Consequently, they face constant and gruesome exclusions. People usually avoid them. There is a sheer lack of educational facilities. They face the brunt of unemployment. The past experiences reflect that our political leaderships ignoring their miseries and a comprehensive policy are needed to deal with such discrimination. In this backdrop, Kochi Metro like initiatives should be repeated for the wellbeing of this community.

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