Newly launched Kochi Metro was different in many ways. It was the first metro to employ 23 transgenders for the purpose of ticketing, customer care, gardening. But 10 days after its launch, things have changed and clearly not for good. Out of 21 transgenders who were hired, as many as eight have quit their job.
The reason for which is that nobody is willing to give them home or room on rent. They also appealed to Kochi’s mayor and district collector but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, Tripthi was given a job but unable to find an accommodation, she refused it. “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”.
23 transgenders were offered the job out of which 21 took it. Eight of them who were given jobs in its ticketing and housekeeping departments of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) have not turned up for work since June 19, the day metro started commercial operations on June 19.
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Raga Ranjini, who works at Edapally station as a ticket collector and draws a salary of ₹15,000 a month said “Right now I am staying in a lodge where the daily rent is ₹600. If the situation continues like this my rent will outweigh my returns. How can I sustain like this?”.
Sahaja Social Welfare and Charitable Society (SSWCS) has stepped in to help them. SSWCS provides shelter facilities to transgenders. According to them two of the people working with the Kochi Metro are staying there and they are willing to provide accommodation to others also.
Meanwhile, Kochi mayor, Soumini Jain said that she has no information about it but will take it up with the Metro so that the issue can be resolved.