India gets its first transgender cab driver

India’s first transgender taxi driver, Meghna Sahoo, stands outside her cab in Odisha, India. — Reuters

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resource (HR) and Marketing, Meghna Sahoo is India’s first transgender cab driver, hailing from Bhubaneswar. Speaking to ANI, 30-year-old Sahoo, who became the first transgender driver-partner of cab aggregator Ola, said she faced a lot of discrimination and rejection due of her gender identity and switched jobs in the hope of being treated at par with others. “I struggled to get the same opportunity as others and it’s difficult for transgender people to get jobs and driving training/ license etc. After the Supreme Court ruling that recognized ‘transgender’ as the third ‘gender’ it became easier for transgender people,” she said.

Although landing a job was a difficult task, Meghna said that women travellers felt safer while commuting in her cab. “I also didn’t face any difficulty with male travellers because of my gender identity, and I feel happy about that,” she added. Meghna has appealed to more members of the transgender community to look at driving as a viable career option to become self-reliant. Transgenders in India still find it hard to find a place in the mainstream society. Earlier in March, a Mumbai-based transgender was denied an accommodation due to her gender. According to the Mid-Day report, a 22-year-old Shakti Rakesh Waghela was looking for a rental flat, but every agreement she’s finalized so far has gone sideways once the broker or potential flatmate see her Aadhaar card, which mentions her as transgender.

Waghela told the daily that she had finalized a few homes in Andheri, but when she produced her Aadhaar card, which states that she is transgender, the broker said that the flat had been occupied and that there were no homes in the area. It’s not just the brokers, Waghela says. A number of potential flatmates expressed discomfort in renting their home to a transgender

This article was published on 11/10/2018