“As a community, we have not got our basic rights until today,” R Anushri, K Aradhana and J Kaviya wrote in letters to the President of India.

Cancel our citizenship Struggling for govt jobs 3 TN trans women write to PresidentL to R: Anushri, Aradhana, Kaviya | Video Screengrab
news Transgender Rights Friday, December 14, 2018 - 18:13

Overlooked and ignored in applications for government jobs, three trans women are slamming the country’s inability to provide them with ‘basic rights’ and access to employment opportunities. They have written letters to President Ram Nath Kovind asking their citizenships to be cancelled for the apparent unjust treatment.

In individual letters, R Anushri, K Aradhana and J Kaviya, wrote, “I, a trans woman, am also a citizen of this country. I also pay my taxes for all that I enjoy in this country. As a community, we have not got our basic rights until today. The Transgender Bill has not been passed in the parliament either. I do not deserve to live in this country where I enjoy no rights. Kindly cancel my citizenship.”

Anushri, an engineering graduate with first-class results who has been appearing for Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission’s examinations since 2014, passed TNPSC Group 2 examinations last year. But rather than receiving a government posting in the state, all she’s gotten is radio silence from the government, which, she claims, is a result of her gender. 

Anushri filed a case with the Madras High Court in 2017. When she did not receive any response from the government, she filed a case once again in April this year, this time after clearing Grade 2 Examinations.

In the second case, Aradhana had to fight tooth and nail just to appear for second group constable posting (AR) examination under Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment (TNUSR). While the court directed the government to allow Aradhana appear for her exams, her progress was stalled in the next level when she did not hear back from TNUSR. “After writing the exam, I have not been called for physical and medical examinations. Those who practised and wrote exams with me are being trained today. I have not received any response so far,” she says in a video posted on Trans Rights Now Collective’s Facebook page. Three months ago, Aradhana once again filed a case with the Madras High Court for which she is yet to receive a response.

Similarly, Kaviya who is a BE Electronics and Communication Engineer appeared and cleared the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Sub Inspector Police Exam this year, but was disappointed when she did not receive any response to her application. Kaviya has filed a case with MHC which has not progressed any further. “Even though I’m worthy and deserving of the job, just because I am a trans woman and since the government has no reservation for trans people in place, I am being ignored,” says Kaviya in another Facebook video.

In writing to the President, Anushri, Aradhana and Kaviya say that their only request is that reservations are set aside for trans persons in order to enable the community to access better opportunities. 

Speaking to TNM, Founder and Director of Trans Rights Now Collective Grace Banu says that as per a Supreme Court order, trans persons were given reservations under OBC category in the country. “In Tamil Nadu, the government has set aside reservations for trans persons under MBC. But how can everyone access it? We are asking for horizontal reservations under all categories. Set aside reservations for trans persons under all categories - BC, MBC, SC, etc,” she explains.

Just a year ago, Madras High Court directed the state government to issue guidelines on the reservation in employment with respect to transgender persons. However, the state is yet to respond with a policy on special reservations for trans persons seeking employment in the state. 

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