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Women, transgenders to the fore in Kochi Metro

Kochi: Kochi Metro is breaking new ground in gender justice by opening up employment opportunities to not only hundreds of women, but also the transgender community.

Over 600 trained women from the ‘Kudumbasree Mission’ have been employed to ensure smooth run of the first phase of the metro, to be operated from Aluva to Palarivattom.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited has also employed 23 persons from the transgender community for jobs ranging from handling the ticket counter to housekeeping work. They too were recruited and trained by ‘Kudumbasree Mission’.

Of the total of 39 persons hired to operate the metro rakes, seven are women.

“Kudumbasree Mission, one of the largest women empowering projects in the country, has a major role in operations of Metro Rail services. In the first phase, over 500 persons from the mission are being trained for the management of the first phase of Kochi Metro. They have been trained for management of station premises including ticketing, customer relations, housekeeping and parking management,” a KMRL spokesperson said.

She said Kudumbasree had also created a group of 23 transgenders to carry out jobs including housekeeping,cleaning and ticketing services.

Their appointment comes at a time when transgenders face a great deal of oppression, another official said.

“There will be no gender discrimination against transgenders. They are treated at par with others employed through Kudumbasree Mission,” said Dilraj, an official appointed by Ernakulam District Kudumbasree Mission to head the facility management centre for providing services to Kochi Metro.

Officials said the decision to employ transgenders was taken following the new transgender policy adopted by the Kerala government envisaging ending the social stigma towards the group and ensure non-discriminatory treatment.

Meanwhile, KMRL conducting service trials with six trains. These trials will continue till the commencement of commercial operations of the Kochi Metro next month.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first phase of the project.

–PTI