Transgender Congress workers disheartened by lack of acceptance from within Congress
Despite the state’s pioneering efforts in 2015 to launch a policy aimed at equal rights for the community, the members still perceive a lack of acceptance from their party colleagues.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Pradesh Transgender Congress (KPTC), which serves as the feeder organisation for the state Congress, underwent a recent overhaul.
Despite the state’s pioneering efforts in 2015 to launch a policy aimed at securing justice and equal rights for the transgender community, the community still perceives a lack of acceptance from their party colleagues.
The KPTC was launched with much fanfare in 2020 under the tenure of Congress state president Mullapally Ramachandran. Over the last three years, the feeder organisation was led by Arunima M Kurup, a trans woman, who is currently pursuing her second-year LLB at CSI College for Legal Studies in Kanakkary, Kottayam.
She is also currently serving as the state general secretary of KSU. During her tenure as the state president of KPTC, Arunima led numerous protests against the mistreatment of her colleagues by authorities and police. However, Arunima and her colleagues are now disheartened by the neglect they face both within and outside the organisation. Despite the recent overhaul of KPTC, Arunima has been appointed as a patron, a position that does not actually exist.
“I’m not bothered about party posts. I wish the party colleagues viewed us with respect as individuals. Now we are looked upon with utter disrespect and contempt at party programmes. The KPTC should be given a berth in the organisational revamp and also the promised assembly seat,” said Arunima.
Arunima’s tenure as the president of the KPTC was marked by a series of protests in which she sought action against those responsible for the murder of a transgender woman, Shalu.
This was followed by the State Police Chief issuing a statement urging the police to be courteous to the transgender community.
Another protest by Arunima saw former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the Opposition Leader attending it demanding action against the killers of another trans woman, Ananya.
Kollam native Ragarenjini has succeeded Arunima as the KPTC president. Ragarenjini works as a customer care officer at Kochi Metro also told TNIE that she too has experienced neglect from the party colleagues, especially from the lower rung of the party.
“I had actively participated in the Puthuppally by-election campaigns. There have been certain instances that saw us not getting due respect at the party-level meetings at the ground level. Now the Congress state leadership has urged all the District Congress Committees to invite us for party programmes,” said Ragarenjini.