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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Aurangabad smart city body to employ transgender people in Covid vaccination drive

Many are forced to beg on the streets or take up sex work to eke out a living. There have been demands for policy-level intervention to generate permanent employment opportunities for them.

Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune |
May 6, 2021 10:12:55 pm
Aurangabad smart city body to employ transgender people in Covid vaccination driveLegal recognition apart, employment opportunities for people of the third gender are few and far between. (File Photo)

THE AURANGABAD Smart City Corporation has decided to employ transgender people to help them in the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive. Municipal commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey said the civic body was in advanced talks with NGOs and individuals to finalise the decision.

Legal recognition apart, employment opportunities for people of the third gender are few and far between. Many are forced to beg on the streets or take up sex work to eke out a living. There have been demands for policy-level intervention to generate permanent employment opportunities for them. During lockdown, many were left to starve as other forms of employment dried up.

Pandey, while speaking to The Indian Express, said this move by Aurangabad Smart City Corporation was to ensure that transgender people were brought into the mainstream and given a chance to have a steady income. The corporation has initiated talks with NGOs and support groups to understand how they could be employed, he said.

“Such individuals have good power of people control and they can be employed in a role where that can be used,” he added.

Pandey said the civic body was planning to employ them for the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive. “We need people to manage people when they come for vaccination. Thus, at centres, they can act as marshals and ensure that the process is streamlined,” he said. Another sector where the civic body plans to generate employment is policing of neighbourhoods to implement compulsory use of mask. “They would counsel and implement compulsory mask use in and around the city,” he said.

Pandey also said at present, talks with NGOs and individuals were on, and that the corporation was hopeful of rolling out employment letters as soon as possible. To start with, they would be taken on a contract basis and, based on performance, absorbed into the corporation.

Varun Sardesai, public policy researcher and analyst, welcomed the move.

“Transgender individuals are unfortunately left behind in the path of progress due to societal bias and perception. Our journey towards equality is not complete until our transgender brothers and sisters are brought into the mainstream. There is a need of creating more opportunities so that they can live a dignified life. I urge the Government of Maharashtra to create more jobs for them,” he said.

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