Chennai: A group of transgenders has approached the Madras HC to direct the state government to provide 3 per cent reservation for transgenders in the field of education and employment opportunities.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, before whom the public interest litigation, filed by Swapna of Madurai and four others, came up for hearing, ordered notice, returnable by November 27, to the chief secretary, TN social welfare department secretary and Tamil Nadu public service commission.
According to Swapna, she scored 428 marks in her class 10 board exam, and 1,021 marks in plus-two, standing third in her district. She cleared her UPSC prelims, but could not make it to the interview as her school certificate described her as a male. The second petitioner, Grace Banu of Thoothukudi was holding a diploma in Computer Engineering. The third petitioner, M. Selvi Manoj Premkumar, was a well-known physiotherapist in Chennai.
The fourth petitioner, Living Smile Vidya, in Chennai had studied MA in Applied Linguistics and was also a writer. Thus all the petitioners were proficient in one or other field. Despite their qualifications, they could not get suitable jobs and were discriminated against and disregarded for the only reasons that they did not come under the group ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Though people of transgender were born male, they were forced to become transgender in course of time due to physiological and psychological changes in them. Their parents and society neglected them. For no mistake on their part, they should not be denied equal rights, Swapna added. The words occurring as ‘any person’ under Article 14 of the Constitution did not emphasise whether it was inclusive of ‘he or she or both’. ‘Person’ means a human being, she added, and sought a direction to create 3 per cent reservation for transgenders.