Meet Parichaya, a trans woman who is now working with Karnataka WCD Minister Jayamala

Parichaya had to drop out of school when she was 17 – but she hopes to complete her education and go on to do a PhD soon.
 Meet Parichaya, a trans woman who is now working with Karnataka WCD Minister Jayamala
Meet Parichaya, a trans woman who is now working with Karnataka WCD Minister Jayamala

Twenty-eight-year-old Parichaya Gowda from Mysuru got a new job on Friday – as an attendant in the office of Karnataka Minister for Women and Child Development Jayamala. Parichaya is  one of the first transgender persons to get a job in a government office in Karnataka – although it is on an outsourcing basis. Minister Jayamala on Friday had said, “Transgender community, a much-neglected one, must be empowered to join the mainstream of society. This is not a big deed but a meaningful gesture by the government.”

Speaking to TNM, Parichaya said that unlike the stigma she faces in the rest of society,  her office colleagues including the minister treat her without any prejudice. Parichaya’s appointment was personally overseen by the minister, who was approached by the Karnataka Sexual Minority Forum, and other NGOs.

“Before this I had searched for jobs in many places including private offices but nobody gave me an opportunity,” Parichaya said, “Thanks to Karnataka Sexual Minority Forum and the department, now I have this job. Currently, I have got the job on an outsourcing basis, I wish my role is made permanent.”

Parichaya believes her appointment to a minister’s office will act as a catalyst to change the mindset in people, and hopes more and more transgender persons are employed in the organised sector. “Like me, all transgender persons want to work in mainstream professions. My ambition is to see every transgender person in future in regular workplaces,” she said.

“The stigma and the discrimination, I feel will always be there. This is because people think that we only do sex work or begging. But they don't realise that we don't get any other opportunities, be it in government or private organisations,” she pointed out.

While Parichaya is happy with the job that will help her lead a dignified life, she does not want to stop at this. After being forced to leave her home in Mysuru at the age of 17 when she was studying in PUC-II, she not only wants to finish her schooling but wants to study much further.

“I like to study. Now I need to finish my PUC-II and sign up for a BA course. Then, I want to do my MA, and ultimately, a PhD in Kannada. That is my ambition. Let us see what will happen in future,” she said.


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