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All aboard: India's Prime Minister backs trans train policy

The infrastructure project is one of the biggest rail upgrades in the world

All aboard: India's Prime Minister backs trans train policy
Indian Prime Minister Nanedra Modi at the inauguration of the Kochi Metro Infrastructure project.

Kochi Metro Railway Line’s (KMRL) new policy to hire trans women has made waves around the country and now has the endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian PM was in Kerala’s state capital to launch the Kochi Metro project – a massive infrastructure upgrade to the city’s rail system.

Last month the KMRL revealed it would need to hire hundreds new staff for the project and guaranteed 23 of those positions would go to trans people. A significant quota of the jobs would also be reserved for cis-women. The initiative would make it the first government agency to hire trans people.

The trans workers will come from the government run poverty eradication and women empowerment programme, Kudumbasree. The jobs will range from ticket sales to train driving and cleaning of stations.

‘Nearly 1000 women and 23 transgenders are being selected to work in Kochi Metro rail system,’ Modi told media at the launch.

‘Over the last three years, my government has placed special focus on overall infrastructure development of the nation.

‘There is a need to bring about paradigm shift in urban planning, by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport.’

National leader

Kerala is recognized as a national leader on LGBTI issues in India, especially trans issues.

In April it hosted its first athletic competition for trans people and over the weekend hosted the country’s first trans beauty pageant.

One of its federal MPs, Shashi Tharoor, has repeatedly tried to have Section 377 of India’s Penal Code which bans homosexuality repealed in parliament.


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