One of the most important points that bugs the minds of trans activists is the necessity for developing a sustainable means of livelihood for various trans persons who have long been deprived of various social rights. The stigma makes it difficult for them to step out and earn, and most of them are forced to either beg or enter the risky sex work business. This is also true for a lot of cis women from various neglected spaces like red light districts, rural areas, etc.
Some organizations have come together under the banner of ‘Sathrangi’ in West Bengal to address this issue, and create mainstream income opportunities for trans women. This initiative is led by Prantakatha and other partners, namely, Amitie Trust, Association of Transgenders and Hijras in Bengal, Gour Banglar Sanghati Samity of Malda district and NSS working with Trafficked survivors in bordering blocks of Bangladesh in North 24 Paraganas, SgEA working in Sunderban along with a few more organizations and CBOs.
On 14th June 2017, School for Skills Allied Health Sciences, a unit of JSV innovations Pvt Ltd, provided admission to Jiya Das and Debdutta Biswas, two trans women completely free of cost. This is the first step towards their sustainable livelihood, so that they can be employed in any of the hospitals under the Sirona Hospital group across the state of West Bengal as Nursing Staff. This is in compliance with the promise made by Dr Satadal Saha, co founder and CEO of Sirona Hospitals group, in a Panel Discussion addressing employment options for trans persons organized by Sathrangi.
Such steps are essential for slowly alleviating the vicious circle of stigma and unemployment that many of the trans persons face.
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