Hyderabad: An online petition has been stated to urge Air India to amend its recruitment rules to allow a candidate from the third gender to apply for a job.
Started by Shipra Parswani, a Mumbai-based activist, the petition is in support of Ms Shanavi Ponnusamy, 26, an engineer, who is being rejected by Air India since 2016 because it does not have a category for transgender women like her.
Ms Ponnuswamy wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting mercy killing as she could not meet her daily expenses, after which Ms Parswani started the petition addressed to AI chairman and managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola to create a new recruitment category.
AI’s reluctance comes despite a Supreme Court ruling recognising transgender people as the third gender. The Court had also directed the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education, similar to other minorities.
Ms Ponnuswamy filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2017 which issued notices to Air India and the ministry of civil aviation. Neither has replied.
Mr Bittu Karthik, an LGBT activist who supported Ms Ponnuswamy from the beginning told the newspaper, “The way Air India has treated Shanavi is typical of what transpeople face when seeking employment: despite being strongly qualified. Shanavi is an engineer, employers find innovative excuses to deny transpeople employment.”
08/10/18 Anusha Puppala/Deccan Chronicle