Sabi Giri, who was a sailor with the navy before she transitioned, has been told to appear for an exam, and if she qualifies, she will be eligible for the post of a lower division clerk.

Trans woman dismissed by Indian Navy two years ago may get a job in the force
news News Friday, September 06, 2019 - 19:51

Sabi Giri, a trans woman who was fired from the Indian Navy two years ago, may soon be able to get another job in the force. The navy has agreed to take Sabi back into the force, provided she clears an exam for the post of a lower division clerk. While she was a sailor in the navy before she transitioned, and the job which she will now be considered for is a desk job, Sabi’s lawyer says she is happy that she will at least be getting her pay and other benefits. According to reports, officials from navy have also confirmed the same to media.

In 2017, Sabi, who was assigned male at birth, transitioned and had a gender confirmation surgery – also known as sex reassignment surgery. At that point, she had been working in the navy as a sailor for seven years, since the age of 18. But because she identified as a woman, the navy dismissed her from the job; they said that according to the Navy Act of 1957, women were ineligible to be appointed to the Indian Navy except in certain departments as mandated by the Union government.

Following the dismissal, Sabi took the case to court, and a legal battle on wrongful termination is still underway. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court had asked the navy to accommodate her in some division at the navy if not in the armed services. Speaking to TNM, Sabi’s lawyer Amritananda Chakraborty said that following the orders of the Delhi High Court, the navy has now asked Sabi to appear for an exam, qualifying which she will be eligible for the post of a lower division clerk.

“The job offer is independent of the case challenging her dismissal. Her termination is still unlawful and we hope to win the battle,” the lawyer said, adding, “The date of the exam is yet to be announced by the navy.”

Amritananda also pointed out that since Sabi had joined the navy at a young age, this affected her chances of getting another job after being dismissed. “She served in the navy for seven years and this has to be taken into account while deciding a job for her. In 2017, the navy had offered her a private job on a contractual basis, but Sabi rejected it outright. If she hadn’t joined the navy at 18, she could have pursued higher studies and landed a better job now,” the lawyer said.

Sabi was working with the marine engineering wing at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam before she was moved to the administrative wing after her sex reassignment surgery, and was later dismissed. Though the navy claimed to have paid all her dues, Sabi’s lawyer said that she wasn’t compensated adequately.

“She faced a lot of trouble after being dismissed from her job. There was conflict regarding her identity in her village. Since she couldn’t pursue even a graduation degree, she had to stick to odd jobs,” Amritananda said.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Sabi said she was happy to get her job back. “I am so happy to have my job back. I won’t be a sailor anymore but at least I will have my pay and all my benefits,’’ Sabi told HT.


 

 

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