In what it claims as a first for a government-owned company, Kochi Metro Rail is all set to appoint 23 transgenders for various jobs, from housekeeping to ticket vending, according to a report by The Hindu.
Kochi Metro will hire a total of 530 workers across 11 stations for the Aluva-Palrivattom corridor as a part of Kerala government’s Kudumbasree mission for poverty eradication.
“We would like to give members of the transgender community their rightful share in different jobs at stations. There will be no discrimination between them and women workers,” said MD, Kochi Rail Metro Ltd., Elias George to the Hindu.
The ₹5,180 crore project will eventually cover a distance of 25 km from Alwaye to Petta. Initially, the train service will only run for 13 km between Alwaye and Palrivattom. The overall construction of the Kochi Metro Rail is being overseen by E Sreedharan and is under the ambit of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The 530 members have been trained in soft and technical skills and also imparted lessons in safety. They were appointed after written test and interview conducted jointly by the two agencies. Around 41,000 candidates appeared for the test.
Kerala had announced a transgender policy back in 2015, becoming the first state in India to do so. The policy ensures them equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, the right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without violence and equal right in all decision making bodies.
The hiring of the transgenders is a step towards fulfilment of the policy’s goals.