Transgenders in Kochi Metro desert jobs over lack of facilities

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:While inaugurating the Kochi Metro last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had showered enough encomiums on it for absorbing transgenders into the work force in a big way.

The first of its sort, many termed it a revolutionary step but the ground reality is far from satisfactory.

In one week, of the 21 transgenders employed, eight have quit their job. The reason: Nobody is willing to rent out house/rooms to them. Sensing trouble, they said, they made many representations to Kochi’s mayor and the district collector but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Raga Ranjini, a post-graduate, is working as a ticket collector at Edapally station and she draws a salary of ₹15,000 a month. “Right now I am staying in a lodge where the daily rent is ₹600. If the situation continues like this my rent will outweigh my returns. How can I sustain like this?” she asked.

Tripthi, another transgender, was offered a job in house-keeping but she refused it on the same grounds. “I am staying in a oneroom house on the outskirts of the city. Without an accommodation I can’t shuttle every day so I opted out,” she said. In the first phase, 23 were offered jobs and 21 accepted. In the second phase it was planning to absorb 20 more.

A spokesman of Kochi Metro refused to comment. However Kochi mayor, Soumini Jain, said she was not aware of the problem but she would take it up with metro and help find a solution.

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