The Kochi Metro has just started, and from today (June 20), people in the city will be able to take the Metro to work. But what makes the project special is that it has hired 20 transgender people to be part of its workforce. The employees will work in various departments, including customer care and housekeeping.
The employees have made a video, urging metro passengers not to treat them differently, or to look at them with pity or disgust. The video has gone viral, and has received over a million views.
"Can you do me a favour and when you see me don’t look twice," one employee asks.
"I want you to look at me, and just see a person doing a job,” says another.
The responses to the video are pouring in. It has been shared almost 30,000 times and has over 500 comments.
"Well done ... Great things take time and thanks for everyone who worked behind this kind of change... Bringing them in front of public employment and giving them a chance to prove their abilities in front of everyone. #they are one of us," wrote Facebook user Gouri Suresh.
"Well done Kerala, the government needs to make opportunities for legitimate employment for all the citizens," wrote Carlo Rodrigo.
The Kochi Metro rail has been winning hearts. On Sunday (June 18), 400 people were selected to be the first passengers on the Metro, which was inaugurated by PM Modi on Saturday (June 17). Among the people who were selected were women from an old age home and a man with special needs.
Sixty per cent of the Metro’s employees are women. The Metro was commissioned in 2012. It was given a budget of Rs 5,000 crore for 25 km of construction, of which 13.2 km of the line is now operational.