On paper, the 2014 NALSA judgement of the Supreme Court was a landmark moment for the transgender community in India. In the judgement, the court directed the Centre and states to extend to the community “all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments”.
But nearly a decade later, the community struggles to access jobs, and still finds itself barred from social and professional advancement.
Nolina Minj spoke to transgender individuals who aspire to be teachers, academics and government officials, and found that in each case, the individuals would strive hard to obtain the necessary qualifications and skills. But inevitably, they would have their aspirations stymied by employers who believed their gender, and in many cases caste, identities made them unsuitable for employment.
“On and off, we see celebratory news about some trans people getting recruited for jobs,” Minj said. “Before I began reporting, I had suspected that conditions would be bad, but interviews showed that things were far worse.”
She added, “While reporting this story I was struck by the tremendous pain and resilience of trans activists as they continue to fight for themselves and their communities.”