KOCHI: As part of integrating transgender people into the mainstream, the state government will inaugurate its first shelter home in the district designed exclusively for the community, said district social justice officer Subair K K. This is the second such government shelter home to come up in the state. Though the shelter home, situated at Thrikkakara, is awaiting inauguration, a few trans women have already found shelter there.
“As soon as members of the transgender community reveal their identity, it becomes difficult for them to continue in their respective houses. So, they move out searching for jobs and safe shelter. Unless we take the initiative to give them proper shelter, they will likely be sexually exploited and end up in flesh trade. It is a very commendable effort on the part of the Social Justice Department to sponsor an exclusive shelter home for transgenders in the state,” said Sr Tenslin, caretaker of the shelter home, named Jyothish Bhavan.
One of the inmates, Nimisha (name changed) told TNIE that the shelter home came as a great relief to the community as they had been finding it difficult to get accommodation at a reasonable price.“I had joined Maharajas as a male student, and I revealed my identity while studying there.
Later, it was very difficult to get admission in the transgender category. Finally, I got through. The college authorities have been very cooperative and the students are also very friendly. They are respecting my decision to reveal my identity,” she said.
Nimisha said it should be mandatory to publicise the two seats reserved for transgender students in every government and aided colleges and the state government should initiate such a move. It is because of ignorance that many transgender students fail to join colleges, even though they are interested.
However, another inmate Sudha (name changed) complained that the old generation was still sceptical about the transgender community. “I had been working at the shipyard as a man for a long time, and after surgery, I am a trans woman. They reduced my wages, citing that I am no longer a man and that the same wage cannot be given. What justice is this? I am the same individual and my physical strength is the same, even after a sex change surgery,” she complained.
In total, seven trans women (students, employees and job-seekers) are staying at Jyothish Bhavan. The shelter home had been working for four years now. It was incorporated as the shelter home for transgenders by the social justice department last month, said Sr Teslin.
A safe haven
Second government shelter home to come up in the state
First in the district
Seven transwomen (students, employees and job-seekers) are staying at the shelter home