In land of Koothandavar, transpersons continue to pray for elusive employment

According to sources, there are about 300-350 transpersons in Villupuram municipal area.

Published: 05th June 2022 07:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2022 07:38 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational Image (File photo| Pushkar V, EPS)

Express News Service

VILLUPURAM: While Villupuram is home to the infamous Koovagam Koothandavar temple festival that attracts transpersons from around the world, the district's yearly celebrations have not translated into employment opportunities for the community. While the festival provides an opportunity to reclaim identity, stigma continues to loom over the district, say transpersons here.

According to sources, there are about 300-350 transpersons in Villupuram municipal area. But the most popular restaurants and shops in the district have little to no transpersons employed.

Vimala, a member of the transgender association in Villupuram told TNIE, "Many of our people approached a few retails in the town but we were denied the chance for obvious reasons -- stigma. The government funds, too, do not reach us because officials keep dodging our petitions." She added that it is out of frustration and no other means, that the members of the community are involved in sex work and seeking alms.

TNIE spoke to a few private retail owners in Villupuram town about the issue. A hotel owner near the Old Bus Stand said that they had previously hired four transpersons but they allegedly brought trouble to the hotel, and had to be fired. Ever since, the hotel dropped the policy of hiring transpersons.

However, a young entrepreneur who runs a restaurant near the Four Roads said, "We haven't really thought about this, so far but if we get any requests, there will always be a dignified place for transpersons to work in our restaurant." Similarly, a car garage entrepreneur who also ventured into the hotel business mentioned, "Sometimes, they [transpersons] bring in problems to the workplace, and cause loss of business, which is why many are scared to hire them. But if there are truly committed persons willing to work in our enterprise, we will give them a chance."

Meanwhile, another senior member of the trans community, said that if there are enterprises willing to take them, then, they should advertise the hiring so that transpersons were aware of the recruitment.

Clarifying allegations that schemes do not reach transpersons on time, Collector D Mohan told TNIE, "It is apathy that the members of the community are denied their rightful schemes on time. We would investigate the issue, and ensure creative and beneficial employment opportunities are provided to the community."



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