‘Kochi Metro Rail Limited’ had hired 23 transgender people as ground staff in May 2017 following which Kerala has received happy, teary-eyed applause. Some of these employees were bullied in their previous jobs, and looked forward to being treated fairly. “We are proud that KMRL appointed us by accepting our identity. This is the first time we’ve got an approval and a chance to work with dignity”, one of the trans women had said.
They were assigned duties in housekeeping, ticket vending, customer relations, parking, gardening, and canteens, and promised no discrimination, separate bathrooms, freedom with clothing choice– all the steps in the right direction for more trans visibility and rights.
Everything went on well until Vincy Antony, one of the employees reported to Times of India that they were being trained to deal with customers’ abuse with patience and that nobody was ready to rent houses or rooms to them.
“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,” said Raga Ranjini, a ticket collector at Edapally station.
“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,” said Tripthi, part of the housekeeping staff.
Kerala have more plans to create vacancies for transgenders.