Batting for reservation in jobs to transgenders, Padma Shri awardee and folk dancer B. Manjamma Jogathi said on Monday that the government can take action against such transgenders who engage in begging or sex work only after creating them opportunities to earn their livelihood and join the mainstream.
She was speaking at an interactive programme jointly organised by Udupi taluk unit of Udupi Zilla Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Vidyavachaspathi Bannanje Govindacharya Memorial District Central Library, Udupi and Samskrithi Vishwa Prathistana, Udupi at the Library in Ajjarakad, Udupi.
She said that unable to find opportunities to earn a decent income, some transgenders have become sex workers. People in the society as a whole should take up a collective responsibility to provide jobs to transgenders who deserve their dues in the society.
Of late, some IT and BT companies in Bengaluru have started giving jobs to transgenders, she said, and added that the stigma attached to transgenders is slowly waning.
Ms. Jogathi said that that through education and reservation in jobs, transgenders can get their due in the society to lead a decent life. Otherwise, their isolation in the society will continue.
She criticised the mindset of some people, especially parents who abandon children born with sexual anatomy that does not fit the boxes of ‘female’ or ‘male’. This inhuman practice of abandoning kids should stop, she said.
Recalling her younger days, the folk dancer said that she faced untouchability while travelling in buses in other public places. But after she received the Padma Shri award, people’s attitude changed.