Transwomen seek job opportunities for inclusion

A view of the transgender toilet at the bus stand in Tiruchi.

A view of the transgender toilet at the bus stand in Tiruchi.  

‘Response from district administration has been lukewarm’

While appreciating the initiatives taken by the Corporation to provide them exclusive basic facilities, transwomen lament that absence of job opportunity for economic survival persists as a worrisome factor.

Transgender women representing various associations had, in the past, approached the district administration and the Corporation.

“But the response we received is lukewarm,” Kajol, a member of Transgender Welfare Board said, wondering why they were not considered for jobs despite holding the requisite educational qualifications

Several members of transgender community attempted suicide as they were unable to cope with societal pressures, she says.

“Recently, at the inauguration of a store, some transgender women went and demanded money. The alleged harassment of the shop owner became news. But who will go into the cause for such incidents? Do you think we would like to beg on the streets if we had dignified jobs?” she asks.

Along with five other trans women, Kajol had approached the Tiruchi city corporation to allot a shop at a commercial complex owned by the civic body so that they could sell some products and make a living. “This was around Deepavali time. However, we were denied the opportunity. I even approached officials of the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration in Chennai to help smoothen the process. Although they agreed, there continues to be several obstructions,” she says.

Kajol and her group later approached the civic body to permit them to maintain the transgender toilet constructed at the Central Bus Stand.

“The bus stand has been locked up for nearly a year as there is no person to maintain it. We requested officials to hand over the maintenance of the toilet for our people to us but that request also has been ignored,” Kajol says.

In fact, not all transgenders hold the same view on the issue of having exclusive toilet. “The intention behind the concept is good. But, I have not come across any issues when using the existing public toilets. The exclusive toilet would only symbolise our exclusion,” she says.

“Exclusive toilets are not among our immediate concerns. The government has a greater role to play in providing education, housing and employment opportunities for transgenders. These are our more important priorities,” she adds.

Officials at the corporation say that they are exploring opportunities for handing over the operation and maintenance of the toilet to voluntary organisations working for the rights and welfare of transgenders.

“We are hesitant to hand over the maintenance to private parties. We have asked NGOs to approach us and will throw it open as soon as someone approaches us,” a senior official said.

Regarding the job opportunities, the civic body and the district administration had separate schemes, which had to be applied for and approved, he added.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 12:44:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/transwomen-seek-job-opportunities-for-inclusion/article30427113.ece

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