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Leaving No One Behind

Employing Inclusivity: Corporate Doors Open For Transgender Community At Employment Mela

Over 230 hopeful candidates from the transgender community participated at the recently-held Trans Employment Mela that were looking for a better life, more inclusive work environment and to be counted as equal members of society

Employing Inclusivity: Corporate Doors Open For Transgender Community At Employment Mela
The mela was part of an employment drive by Tweet Foundation that started in February

New Delhi: Dressed in a bright green saree, bedecked with shining stones, Prerna Kumari strutted from one booth to another, handing out her resume and talking about her future prospects with potential employers. Kumari, a Delhi-based transwoman, was one of the over 230 hopeful candidates from the transgender community at the recently-held Trans Employment Mela that were looking for a better life, more inclusive work environment and to be counted as equal members of society.

Also Read: Transgenders Benefited From Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Scheme: Government

A history graduate from Delhi University, Kumari wants to become a professor of the subject at some point in the future, but for now an immediate need to leave a toxic workplace hangs heavy over her head. Ms Kumari, 23, told PTI,

At my current job, they single me out. Nobody likes to sit with me, they feel embarrassed. There is no transgender policy and even after telling them so many times they continue to misgender me.

She added,

Here (at the mela), everyone has been meeting me with a smile. Everyone is so welcoming.

The second edition of the Trans Employment Mela was organised by Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust (Tweet) Foundation and InHarmony in association with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD). It was held on March 22 here.

The employment drive was attended by over 30 companies, including Publicis Sapient, Varun Beverages, Procter & Gamble, The Lalit, Vedanta, Capgemini, Shoppers Stop, EY Foundation, Ericsson, Accenture, and Roop Auto.

Also Read: Transgender Students To Get Free Education In Public Varsities In Maharashtra

Another candidate, Mayuri Arora, who was curious about the event and came seeking a better paying job, talked about the general sense of otherness that she was made to feel at her first job interview. The 28-year-old said,

Some six years ago, I found a job as a sweeper at a company. They said your behaviour and qualifications are good but we can’t give you the job since it would make other employees uncomfortable.

Arora has since found a job with an NGO with a salary that is not enough to sustain her family. She added,

That’s why I have come here. I will take any job that seems suitable for me.

Pushpendra Kumar, who prefers being called Scarlet Witch as per her transgender identity card, was elated there were so many “like her” who were looking for jobs and was hopeful of working at a place where they wouldn’t single her out. The 24-year-old model-actor said,

Generally, people pass comments and judge you but that’s not the case here. Everyone here is like me, they are all friends. Even in big companies where highly educated people work, they also feel a bit weird around us. But I feel I will get an equal opportunity here.

Abhina Aher, the founder of Tweet Foundation, said it was difficult for the members of the transgender community to look for employment as in most cases the discrimination begins at home. Ms Aher said,

It is a major issue for the transgender community that the discrimination and harassment they face begins from their families. It starts long before they step out into the world. In such a situation how can one complete their education or be suited for employment?

In Kumari’s case, her family abandoned her once she completed her education and found a job. Meanwhile, Arora’s parents came to terms with her identity after counselling that she was sent to for her “mental illness” but she couldn’t complete her graduation due to poor financial situation at home.

The mela was part of an employment drive by Tweet Foundation that started in February. The organisation had secured over 50 jobs for the members of the transgender community.

In its debut edition, which was held in March 2023, the Trans Employment Mela received over 500 applications to 30 companies for 160 job vacancies. After conducting more than 100 interviews, a total of 58 job offers were extended to the applicants.

Also Read: Hospital Admissions For Transgender People Totalling Over Rs 1 Cr Approved: MoS Health S P Singh Baghel

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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