Right to work
Abhina Aher, a transgender, is Program Manager with the India HIV/AIDS Alliance in Delhi. But the road to a stable employment was a tough one. "It makes me angry when people ask why transgenders people beg. Are they going to give us jobs?" she asks vehemently.
The right to work and employment is a basic right that belongs to all Indian citizens. But when it comes to transgenders, the right appears to have been forgotten, forcing them into professions like begging and sex-work. The levels of discrimination faced by them is very high. "I got rejected everywhere I went because of my gender. But you have to earn a livelihood, right?", says a transgender. "So I got into prostitution."
If you go by a rough estimate, there are between 19-35 lakh transgendered persons in the country and 35% of them are educated. Inspite of being skilled workforce, there are few jobs in the market. "We don't need your sympathy, we just need opportunities," says Veena.