People in India will soon be able to book train tickets under the gender ‘T’.
The Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) issued a letter to zonal railways across the country.
The new gender option will be available to trans people when booking or cancelling a railway ticket.
The current option for trans people is to tick the box saying ‘Transgender (Male/Female)’. Trans activists were unhappy with the option as it meant they still had to identify along a traditional gender binary.
‘The matter has been reviewed and it has been decided that till such time the detailed modalities on this account are finalised by the Ministry of Social Justice, a provision may be made in the system to capture the gender of transgender as ‘T’ instead of ‘T(M/F)’ as advised earlier,’ the letter said.
India’s railway network is one of the biggest in the world and runs 12,617 trains everyday, carrying more than 23 million passengers.
Supreme Court ruling
In 2014 the Supreme Court of India made a historic ruling that trans people should be allowed to identify in a third gender category.
The Court instructed the Federal Government to allow trans Indians to register in the third gender on official document.
It also ruled the government must to recognize them as a class of people who are economically and socially discriminated against so that they are given preferential treatment when seeking work and education.