Tweet Foundation (tweetindia.org) and InHarmony (inHarmony.in), in association with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), hosted the ‘National Transgender Employment Mela 2023’ on Friday, March 10th, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Lalit, New Delhi to bring corporate employers & transgender community on single platform to ‘fast-track’ transgender employment in India. The prime focus of the event was to sensitize the corporate world on transgender person’s employment needs & bridge the ‘D&I’ gaps through increased trans employment in the corporate sector across India.
Over 200 trans candidates attended the event, including about 125 candidates were screened and shortlisted by Tweet and InHarmony. The overall focus was to get several ‘on the spot’ recruitments for deserving transgender candidates, since there were ‘interviews’ conducted by leading companies at their respective stalls set up in a separate area. Publicis Sapient was the Platinum Sponsor while Tata Steel, EY Foundation and Suez India Pvt. Ltd. signed up as Gold Sponsors. In addition, companies such as Mahindra Logistics, K.Raheja Corp, Tulsea, Publicis Sapient, Godrej Properties, Tata Steel, Accenture, Varun Beverages, Thompson Reuters, Roop Auto, and many more participated in the recruitment drive.
The event hosted some crucial & thought-provoking panel discussions, human libraries and knowledge sharing on topics related to trans inclusion at workplaces. It also showcased amazing performances by talented transgender artists through songs, poetry, and dance. The event was supported by prominent community & placement partners such as The Humsafar Trust, lalRWS, Basera, Samavesh, Lakshya Trust, Kinner, Solidarity Foundation, BeUnic, Periferry and social development partners like UNAIDS, UNDP, ILO, The Keshav Suri Foundation and EY Foundation.
Rationale for the event
On 15th April 2014, in the landmark NALSA Judgement, the Supreme Court of India acknowledged transgender people as ‘third gender’. In 2019, the ‘Right of Protection Act for Transgender, 2019’ came into existence for creating strategic interventions towards ‘trans inclusion’ and reducing ‘transphobia’ among the Indian society. Several schemes and around 12 shelter homes named ‘Garima Griha’ (shelter home) were introduced to invest on trans people skilling and employment. Despite Government initiatives, we still notice gaps in trans inclusion in society and at workplaces. Several companies want to be inclusive, however lack the technical expertise and enabling environment to welcome trans people at workplace.
Dr R. Giriraj, Director NISD says, “In any progressive society, respecting the identity and dignity of one and all is very important. While there is law in place to prohibit the discrimination of transgender persons at educational establishments, workplaces and healthcare services, they still face discrimination on the ground. The feeling of Sabka Sath, Sabka Prayas is possible only when all the important amenities reach everyone. This Trans Employment Mela will strengthen the systems in a robust manner to prepare for another leap in the future. It will give an opportunity to trans persons to live their life with respect and in a dignified manner which ultimately promotes inclusivity in society. It will also make trans-person financially independent, which will pave the way for self-confidence among trans-community”
Mr Keshav Suri, Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, says In India, it’s very recent that organisations and different bodies have started to become accessible and create opportunities for transgender persons. There’s still a long way to go but employment fairs like this are important so that the community gets to understand, explore and learn about them under one roof. At The LaLiT, we have always believed in the power of diversity and celebrate people from all walks of life. We have been skilling, employing and are creating opportunities with them at all levels to march towards an Inclusive India for All
Anecdotal evidences suggest that more than 80% transgender person in India survive on sex work, begging and badhai (blessing & dancing on happy occasions). Dire need for the ‘gender transition surgeries’ push transgender and hijra people into acute debts and difficult survival conditions. More than 39% of the trans people, are literate, however lack with the employment opportunities because of missing ‘gender affirmative’ documents, low self-esteem and lack of social support to fetch employment opportunities. If we really want to empower trans people in India, we need to eliminate ‘transphobia’ in mainstream society and create greater inclusion at ‘workplace’ for financial empowerment!” Maya Awasthy, Co-CEO TWEET Foundation.