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Airing grievances: Demands for special rights for trans community

A young transgender approached the Commission demanding special rights for the community, including reservation and separate columns to indicate their gender on all applications forms.

Published: 04th October 2017 10:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2017 09:28 AM   |  A+A-

Adalat organised by Kerala State Youth Commission at PWD Rest House  Manu R Mavelil

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though our state is in the forefront in initiating several policies to amalgamate the third gender into the mainstream, the government is yet to include separate columns for them in the job applications.

On Wednesday, a special case came up at the district adalat which was held by the Kerala State Youth Commission in the hall of the PWD rest house at Thycaud. A young transgender approached the Commission demanding special rights for the community including reservation and separate columns to indicate their gender on all the application forms.

Shyama S Prabha

Shyama S Prabha,  a native of Karamana,  was initially sceptical when she walked into the hall of the PWD rest house. But once there, her initial inhibitions evaporated and Shyama conveyed her demands to which the commission responded positively.  Being a civil service aspirant, Shyama was keen on her demands.

“Though transgenders in the state are being employed in Kudumabsree, Kochi Metro and other art-related initiatives, their induction into government service is yet a distant dream.  Though Kerala is comparatively positive and has formed policies for transgenders unlike other states, a separate column for us is our basic right,” Shyama said.
Shyama said there are many among the transgenders who are well-qualified and aspire a decent job. For Shyama, teaching is her passion but was rejected by various educational institutions for being a transgender.

Though she chose civil service as her future, the present system in the government doesn’t offer a smooth ride for transgenders be it in the UPSC and PSC. “Our state government has reserved two percent for the transgenders. But this has been included in Other Backward Community column. This has to be changed. We are living in a state which protects the rights of the transgenders. So a fresh system should be in place for our gender since many in our community who have achieved academic brilliance still struggle to land a decent job,”  Shyama added.

Shyama is an active member of the recently formed DYFI PMG unit in the city. She had also completed MEd. Apart from the welfare and protection of the rights for transgenders, Shyama was also keen on protecting the rights of a 19-year-old girl who had to leave the Sree Chitra home for being a lesbian. The commission has decided to forward Shyama’s demands to the government.
Adalat witnessed a rush of PSC rank holders

The first adalat of the commission saw complaints pouring in from various PSC rank holders. Among the rank holders, as many as 30 demanded filling up of vacancies of the Lower Division Clerk. They pointed out that the rank list will expire in six months. According to Sumesh,  a rank holder, the supernumerary appointments made by the previous government has caused this problem. “All the rank holders had written the examination in 2013 and the rank list was published in 2015. But over 400 vacancies are yet to be reported. This is unacceptable. So we urged the commission to look into the issue,” Sumesh said.

When T ‘Puram Express contacted, Chintha Jerome, the chairperson of the commission, she said the panel will submit a report to the government to address the concerns raised by the rank holders soon.  “All the complaints were found to be genuine. We are committed to resolving the issues at the earliest,” Jerome said.  As many as eight cases have been heard by the commission and four cases were resolved. The adalat is being held in various districts.



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