World Labour Day: Trans for Transformation
By in Posted April 30, 2018
Kochi: On this year’s May Day, Anu Bose chose to be in a hospital room in Coimbatore fighting her post-surgery woes. From de-activating Facebook to deep-core fasting to please the Gods and nerds who sweat and slave day and night, we have seen people go off the borders to crack exams and get a job. But this could be the first time, someone had gone this far- to trade her gender to get a government job.
Meet Anu Bose, the 33- year-old Transgender and a Post-Graduate in Mathematics from Cochin University who had been fighting single-handedly for including a Transgender column in Government application forms for PSC, UPSC, UGC and other state/central Government examinations. After seeing that all her requests had gone to deaf ears, she recently underwent a sex re-assignment surgery hoping to secure a government job.
After years of hard work and perseverance, swimming against the tides and growing up alongside deep-seated discomforts and stark realities society had to offer to a transgender, Anu Bose completed her Post Graduation in MSc Mathematics.
But she was pretty sure that a decent mark sheet and subject knowledge is not enough for a Transgender to secure a job in our society. She trained herself to ‘pretend’ and ‘act’ like a ‘Man’ to face the interviews. But no sooner, she reached a breaking point in life where it was too difficult to hide who she was any longer. The result? She had to quit the job in 2016 following harsh, sarcastic comments from colleagues.
But she wielded more power, she had a dream to fulfil. The dream that had helped her face all the odds and soar new heights ever since childhood. Anu grew up with the dream of being a Government employee only to wake up to the reality that a Transgender do not even have a column in the application form to write the exam, let alone secure the job.
“For writing PSC exams, there are separate centres for male and female candidates. When I enquired at the PSC office to know how I can apply, an official told me that people like me do not ‘deserve’ to be there. I sought legal help and the court gave me sanction to write the exam and asked me to join the centre for females to attend the exam. Then again, this court order was just for me. There are many other qualified Transgender candidates who do not get a job only because they are not born in ‘male’ or ‘female’ gender,” said Anu.
“There are options for Transgender jobs in Railways, but it is constrained only to second grade jobs. Similarly, there are no options for a Transgender to write bank tests or UGC exams in science stream. Apart from male and female columns, there is still no column for a third gender for us to apply for the exam. We are not even allowed to enter a temple or travel comfortably in a public transport, let alone write an exam,” she added.
One minute of silence for all of us who laud ourselves as the most literate lot among other states in India. Ask ourselves, have we still figured out the difference between sex and gender?
We might have a white collar jobs, we might be rank holders, but first let’s just get our perspectives right.
“I have received only rude and dehumanizing comments from every government office I have visited. I was even asked to strike off d/o (daughter of) and make it c/o (care of) next to my own mother’s name. I will strive hard and do my best to get into a government job. I will make sure that people accept me us human beings and no other transgender will have to face such humiliation in government offices ever again,” she said.