Given user IDs and passwords; their employment IDs printed in 'T' column

For the first time in Tamil Nadu, two transgender - P.Kajol and S.Priyanka - have registered in the employment exchange in Tiruchi.

This marks the fulfilment of a long-term demand of the community. A government order has introduced a column ‘T’ for transgender to register in the employment exchanges.

Kajol has a higher secondary qualification and holds a diploma in beautician course while Priyanka is a qualified nursing assistant. Getting themselves registered was not an easy task and has been fulfilled after three years of struggle, says Kajol.

Kajol is the president of SAFE (Social Action for Emancipation), a community-based organisation that strives for the welfare of transgender.

SAFE was founded by Kajol in 2010 and has been effectively functioning to help transgender exercise their rights.

In 2010, Kajol had approached the State government and appealed for the provision of a third gender column for transgender in the employment exchange.

After two months, she received a reply from the then chief minister’s office in the affirmative, but the exchange replied that there was no order received.

Shuttling between the government office and the exchange and regular appeals and letters were done through the years, but in vain.

Finally, an online petition to Chief Minister Jayalalitha did the trick and the government did the needful.

Kajol and Priyanka were given user IDs and passwords so that they could upload their information online under the others column and their employment IDs were printed in the ‘T’ column.

“We never stopped making efforts because this would help the government get data about educated transgender and would help in employment generation for the members of our community. This initiative by the government will not only help members of our community in Tiruchi, but all over the State,” says Kajol.

She also thanks the present government for being very supportive of transgender by providing many schemes for their benefit.

These include the monthly provision of Rs. 1,000 for transgender above 40 years of age, loan for small-scale entrepreneurs, change of name and gender in the gazette, and registration in the employment exchange.

“The next appeal of our community is that the government should provide reservation to us to increase employment opportunities. This will prove to be beneficial for our community and help in our uplift,” says Kajol.