Transgenders to guard school buses in Punjab, Haryana

After Supreme Court’s revolutionary move to recognise transgenders as third gender in April this year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court now wants the members of this community to be a responsible citizen.

The court has asked the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to involve transgenders as school bus helpers. The development comes after the court took a suo-motu notice of a case in which the bus conductor of a private school bus had allegedly sexually assaulted a five year old kindergarten student.

In what is being termed as a major development after the Supreme Court recognised transgenders as the third gender, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked Punjab, Haryana governments and UT Chandigarh to initiate steps to fix the responsibility of third gender and involve members of this community in the mainstream society.

The decision to employ transgenders comes after some schools had told the court that they are not able to find adequate number of female school bus helpers. The court asked Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to consider employing transgenders besides the females as school bus guards to check eve-teasing and sexual exploitation of school children in buses. The court has also slammed the parents who were apprehensive about the move.

“Transgenders are part of the society and their responsibility has doubled after the Supreme Court’s decision to recognise the members of this community as third gender. The petition pertaining to the safety of school children in school buses was
already moved. Interestingly, a good suggestion to ask the transgenders to shoulder a social responsibility came after some schools expressed the inability to get adequate female bus helpers. While the Punjab and Haryana have already agreed to give opportunity to the members of third gender as bus helpers, Chandigarh is also considering,” Counsel, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Vaibhav sharma said.

While a  section of parents who are not in favour of employing transgenders as school bus helpers refused to come on record. City’s transgenders believe that taking up the job of a bus helper will deprive them off from ‘seeking alms’ which has been in the vogue from centuries. They however, said they will be happy to serve the society in their spare time as it will be impossible for them to give up the age-old tradition.

“We are ready to serve the society in our spare time but I don’t think members of this society will join as bus helpers as they are mature and old. The young people are free to join and may consider joining if they are assured that their jobs are permanent,” Meena, a Chandigarh based transgender leader told Mail Today.

Sources said the officials of Punjab and Haryana governments have approached some city based transgenders to motivate them to work as school bus helpers. The community sources said that some members may consider joining schools as bus helpers if they get the jobs are regular.

If the governments succeeded in motivating the members of this community, the transgenders instead of seeking alms will be guarding the future of the country.

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