Since the day the news of the appointments came we could not stop but lauding Kochi Metro for its path-breaking initiative. Yes, we are talking about the very first induction of transgender workers in various departments of the Kochi Metro. In a first it, the department appointed 23 members of the transgender community to work in ticket counters, housekeeping teams and serving passengers. The new joiners are on board now, but have they been assured that their basic needs been looked after?

The answer is no!

Do they get proper accommodation so that they can sleep safely at night to get up next day morning and head to work? While this move has proven to be a new light among the trans and third gender community in India, within a week, of the 21 transgender people were employed, 8 have quit their job. The reason? Reportedly, the employees aren’t welcomed for renting out houses/rooms in the city.

READ: Kerala To Host First Transgender Beauty Pageant

No owners are willing to sign them in as tenants. When they all approached the city’s Mayor and the district collector with many representations but failed. Their pleas were unheard and so they decided to bow out.

Raga Ranjini, who is a post-graduate, had been appointed as a ticket collector at Edapally station at a monthly salary is Rs 15,000. “Right now I am staying in a lodge where the daily rent is Rs 600. If the situation continues like this my rent will outweigh my returns. How can I sustain like this?” she rued, as per a Hindustan Times report.

In this one month, the employees have made a video as well, to prove their mettle as hard workers regardless of sexuality, urging metro passengers not to treat them differently. A video that has now gone viral with over 22,000 shares.

Watch the video here:

Tripthi, had been employed in the housekeeping department, says “I am staying in a one-room house on the outskirts of the city. Without an accommodation, I can’t shuttle every day so I opted out.”

Also Read: First Transgender Residential School To Open In Kochi Soon

When the first phase was declared, 23 were offered jobs and 21 accepted. In the second phase, 20 more were to be inducted.

The Kochi Mayor, Soumini Jain, later hailed for their action justifying that she was not informed of the problem but would do everything in her power to send this message to metro and help find a solution.

“We have 628 members of Kudumbasree working in various wings of the KMRL. If we give any special consideration to them, these women will also claim it. It will not be possible for us to provide accommodation to everybody. We are not an employer but a facilitator,” Spokesperson for the KMRL CR Reshmi was quoted by Firstpost.

Also Read: Transgender Activist Kalki Subramaniam To Speak At Harvard

The first stretch of the metro was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17. He had showered praises for an enormous transformation this country is experiencing. The Transgender community especially has grown into the workforce in a big way.

In our country, the stigma around the Transgender community still remains, but Kerala is the first state to work towards the integration of this gender into the mainstream.

Also Read: Kami Sid – Pakistan’s First Trans Model’s Debut Photoshoot

Also Read: Weaving magic for transgender women: A unique initiative by a Kerala designer

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