The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) conducted the second round of job training for transgender persons it hired on Wednesday. KMRL’s decision to hire 23 transgenders from the self-help group Kudumbashree unit to work at its stations has been hailed by many as a step that goes towards empowering members of the community. The better educated members are likely to be posted at ticket counters while the rest will work in the housekeeping section.
“The metro agency is the first government-owned company in India to formally appoint them. I hope other firms in Kerala give them a respectable opportunity to work,” KMRL MD Elias George was quoted saying.
On Wednesday, 13 transgender persons took a ride on the trial run of the Kochi Metro, yet to open to the public. The second round of the training programme ensured they were made aware of their duties in customer care. Confidence improvement, technical skills and safety lessons were also imparted. KMRL officials held classes for them at the Muttom yard and later in the day, they had an interaction with the KMRL MD.
Kerala was one of the first states in the country to develop a transgender policy that aims to bring them into the mainstream by offering jobs and reservations. The first ever transgender sports meet in the country also took place in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala recently and proved to be a big hit. Around 130 athletes participated in the event.
As for the Kochi Metro, it is the first of its kind in Kerala and has been planned with the aim of decongesting the roads of Kochi, the state’s financial nerve centre and one of its biggest cities. In the first phase, a 13 kilometre section will be inaugurated between Aluva and Palarivattom. Later the section extending to Maharajas College and Thripunithura will also be opened to the public. The project, set up at a cost of Rs 5,181 crores, uses ‘Made in India’ coaches and took five years to be built.