Tamil Nadu

2 transgender persons employed in IMH

For Vaishnavi, one of the two transgender persons appointed for housekeeping and security jobs at the Institute of Mental Health in Chennai, a job is the answer for most difficulties.   | Photo Credit: Jothi Ramalingam .B

A job was the answer for all difficulties for Vaishnavi. Being employed meant setting an example for others in her community as well as creating an equal work space along with men and women for Manisha. For the two transgender persons, a visit to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for certification took them closer to their dreams.

Manisha and Vaishnavi are both set to join the IMH in security and housekeeping jobs. They were among a group of 43 transgender persons from the Chepauk-Triplicane area, who had gone to the IMH for certification to obtain the identity card for transgenders being issued by the Transgender Welfare Board.

This was the first time that the institute was employing transgender persons on its campus.

“They spoke to us about the need for employment when we interacted with them during their visit. We have already outsourced contract staff for security and housekeeping on campus. So, we offered jobs to two of them. They will be posted to work at the institute's outpatient department after initial orientation,” P. Poorna Chandrika, Director of IMH, said.

“We are so happy that two members of our community have landed jobs with employee benefits. These 43 transgender persons from Chepauk-Triplicane constituency could not avail of any government welfare scheme due to lack of identity cards from the board. We sought the help of MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin, who immediately made arrangements through the Social Welfare Department,” said Anushri, founder-director of Self Confident Transgenders Social Welfare Trust.

A number of them were degree holders but did not get jobs, she said, adding: “There is no reservation for us in education and employment. It is the lack of employment that has pushed us to the margins, forcing many to begging and sex work. Jobs will empower us.”

For Ms. Manisha, this is more than just a job. “On seeing me, more from my community will join work. It also marks an equal workspace for transgender persons in a place where men and women have been working till now,” she said.

Ms. Vaishnavi said it was very difficult for transgender persons to get jobs. “The lockdown and lack of income caused great hardship. I depended on the dry ration provided by the government and was desperately waiting for a job. I now look forward to working at IMH,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:29:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/2-transgender-persons-employed-in-imh/article34834926.ece

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