The upcoming Kochi Metro will employ 23 transgenders to push for the welfare of the marginalised and neglected community.
They will be deployed in different sections, including housekeeping and ticket counters based on their qualifications, said sources at the Kochi Metro Rail Limited.
This is for the first time a government-owned company in the state is providing bulk employment to members of the third gender.
While educated among them will be deployed in key posts others will be deployed in house-keeping and cleaning sections.
“This is an attempt to bring them to the mainstream. We hope our maiden attempt will be a runaway success. We expect other firms to follow suit and engage them in respectable positions,” said Kerala Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George.
Being selected through written tests and interviews, they are currently undergoing training. More transgenders will be inducted by the metro after gauging performance of the first lot of employees from the community, metro sources said.
They will be part of the 530 workers of the Kudumbasree, a women self-help group of the state that will man the first metro of the state.
Kerala became the first state to formulate a transgender policy in 2015. The policy aimed at ending the discrimination and bringing the third sex to the mainstream.
“We are really excited. We hope other firms will also open their doors for us,” said Chitra, a transgender community member from the port city.
The state has also set up a transgender justice board to deal with their complaints, and a separate column called intersex, was introduced in the birth and death registration form.
Also, it was made mandatory for all government buildings to have separate washrooms for the transgender. Last month the state had conducted an exclusive sports meet for the third sex.
The first phase of the metro, completed in record time, will be inaugurated next month after getting a date from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Last week the rail safety commissioner had given it the green signal. The project built on PPP model between the state and centre, has the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation as the implementing agency and E Sreedharan as the principal advisor.