Janaki, who holds a double degree in Computer Science and Education, has been hired as a data entry operator at the State Housing Board.

Meet Janaki the first transgender woman employed by the Andhra govtAP-P&R
news Gender Monday, January 08, 2018 - 16:31

Until the end of last year, Janaki didn’t have a roof over her head or any means to earn a fixed income. But that changed in 2018, when the Andhra Pradesh government offered her a data-entry job at the state housing board, which aims to build 19 lakh houses.

The Chandrababu Naidu-led government announced a policy at the end of last year to provide employment and equal opportunities to transgender persons. Janaki is the first beneficiary of this scheme.

Twenty-six-year-old Janaki knew from a very young age that she was a trans person. But terrified of her family’s reaction, she did not embrace her identity.  

“My brothers and my parents, fearing how society would react, beat me up when I told them that wanted to wear a saree and be like a girl,” Janaki tells TNM.

On completing her school and intermediate education, she decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science from the Proddatur Government Degree College.

“There were only a few days when I didn’t cry, when I wasn’t bullied there. But my professors never gave up on me and, with their encouragement, I graduated,” Janaki says.

Once she graduated from college, she went on to pursue a B.Ed degree. Janaki decided then that she did not want to suppress her identity anymore and be constantly bullied for it. She decided to run away from home.

“A few doctors and some members of my community helped me become who I always wanted to be,” she said.

She continued pursuing her studies, and now holds a double degree – a B.Sc and a B.Ed degree.

However, due to the stigma associated with trans persons, despite her educational qualifications, she did not find a job anywhere. This forced her to take to begging in order to earn some money.  

One month ago, when she and her friends met the District Collector with regard to getting ration and Aadhar cards, they all got talking.

“Once he learnt I held a degree in Computer Science, he asked me to apply for a post in the Housing Department,” says Janaki.

And now she is all set to begin work as a data entry operator in Chennuru, with a salary of Rs 15,000 a month.

“I’m now socialising with people in office,” she laughs. “Once the Assistant Engineer screens applications, it is my job to enter the data in the system.”

When asked how Janaki was doing in her new job, K Rajasekhar, Project Director at the Housing Corporation, tell TNM, “She is doing well, we have been happy with her performance.”

However, her family has still not accepted her. “I called my mother on getting the job, and she said she was very happy for me. But she did not invite me home, and I don’t want to disturb them either. All I want is their happiness,” says Janaki.

When asked what she plans to do with her first salary, Janaki, who can’t contain her smile now, says she plans to take up a room for rent and do some shopping. She also wants to buy her mother a gift. “But I am not sure Amma will accept it.”

Janaki’s plans for the future include a Master’s degree in Mathematics, before entering academia full time.

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