Denied job by airline, transgender seeks “mercy killing”

NEW DELHI: In a letter addressed to President Ram Nath kovind, a transgender person has sought mercy killing after being denied a job as a cabin crew member in Air India.

In November last year, Shanavi Ponnuswamy had moved the Supreme Court challenging Air India’s decision to deny her a job as a cabin crew member. The top court had issued a notice and sought responses from Air India and the Civil Aviation Ministry within four weeks.

In her letter, Ms Ponnuswamy has claimed that neither Air India nor the Ministry of Civil Aviation has responded to the Supreme Court’s notice.

She writes, in the absence of a job she cannot make her ends meet and, therefore, is asking for mercy killing.

“It is clear that Indian government (is) not ready to respond on my survival issue and employment question (sic).

And, I am not in a condition to pay for my daily food expenses. So, it’s not at all possible to manage Supreme Court case by paying advocates etc,” states the letter posted on a Facebook page called ‘Trans Rights Now Collective’.

In her letter, she claims that she has been denied her basic rights because of her gender.

Ms Ponnuswamy writes that she had been employed with Air India as a customer support executive for a year. Later, she underwent a surgery for gender change.

Following which she applied four times over a period of two years but while she got a “call letter” for the post of a female cabin crew she was never offered the job.

She states that after several attempts to contact the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India, she was informed that as per the carrier’s recruitment policy they do not have a category for ‘transwomen’.