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Eunuchs demand job quota, protection May 5, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in Times of India, Transgender.
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http://tinyurl.com/5foeg6

26 Apr 2008, 0539 hrs IST,Radheshyam Jadhav,TNN

PUNE: Even as the OBC quota heat refuses to settle down, eunuchs have raised the demand for reservation in jobs. Following the Bihar and Tamil Nadu governments’ decisions to give them job protection, the eunuchs in Maharashtra have put the demand for jobs and protection against violence by public and police.

“There are about 10 lakh transgenders in the state who are discriminated by the state and its people. We are pushing forward a demand to the state government that they should get reservation in jobs,” says Vijay Nair, project director of Udaan, an organisation working for welfare of transgenders.

Recently, the Tamil Nadu government had announced establishment of a welfare board for transgenders. The board comprises representatives of government and transgenders. Also the Bihar government had announced that eunuchs will be appointed as security guards and music teachers in schools.

“They are denied basic human rights and are subjected public humiliation,” says Hanif, who also works for Udaan. He added that there are about 1,500 eunuchs in Pune city who are open with their identities and are in need of a job.

“Many of us are skilled workers while others are educated. But still we are denied jobs. The community is left with no other option but to beg or enter sex trade,” says Mohini, a eunuch who is well-versed in cooking. “We approached some societies and asked for jobs of security guards, but in vain. People simply don’t want us around” she adds.

Some banks had recruited eunuchs to recover bad loans. Surprisingly, the recovery was 100 per cent. “We want to change our image and live like any other ordinary human being. We are a minority and deserve every reservation and protection that is given to minority communities,” says Mohini.

Transgenders working with Udaan complain that they are sexually harassed by police and public. “All the instances of abuse and violence against eunuchs go unreported. Hence we need special protection against violence,” they say.

“Eunuchs face immense problem in finding residence and health problems make thinks complicated. Prevalence of HIV infection among eunuchs is also on rise. But hardly any one is concerned about them,” says Nair.

Various organisations of eunuchs plan to come under one umbrella and approach the state and central governments demanding protection of their rights as citizens of the country. They will soon meet to discuss further course of action.

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