CHENNAI: The Transgenders’ Rights Bill might well have been passed in the Upper House, but Chennai-based transgenders feel that the discriminatory attitude against them continues, especially in public places. Buses, are not an exception.
“I avoid MTC buses usually because other commuters look at me as if I have boarded the bus to beg. The stigma is widespread,” says Jaya, the general manager of Sagotharan, a community-based organisation working for skill development of transgenders.
Transgender rights activist Kalki Subramamiam adds that sexual harassment is a burning issue for the community as such. “Besides verbal abuse, some men take you for granted when you are a transgender and harass you. There have been many occasions when I have reacted strongly to verbal abuse while travelling on buses,” she says, emphasising that people needed to be sensitised on the issue of sexuality.
K P Dhanambasyam, founder-president of Snehiti, another organisation working for the welfare of transgenders, agrees. She says, “People don’t want to sit beside me and that makes me feel alienated while commuting by bus.”
- CCTVs on buses would act as a deterrent for sexual harassment and also complaints could be backed up with video evidence
- Police personnel on board during peak hours