In a major gender reform, decks have been cleared for the recruitment of transgender people in the Odisha Police with the State Police Recruitment Board on Saturday issuing a notification inviting online applications for recruitment to sub-inspectors and constable posts and making transgender candidates eligible to apply for the posts.
Once transgender people are recruited, Odisha will be among few states in the country to have them in the State police.
Transgender community across Odisha whole heartedly welcomed the move by Odisha Police and expressed their gratitude to the State government.
"The move follows enactment of the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act. The Act prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in matters like education, employment, healthcare services and other facilities," said Meera Parida, Chairman of All Odisha Transgender Welfare Association.
"We have been vociferously fighting for the rights of the transgenders. The move by the State government will not only boost the confidence of the entire community, but it would also change the perception of the society towards transgender persons. We thank Odisha Government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the important initiative," said Meera.
Meghna Sahoo, Secretary of All Odisha Transgender Association, also thanked the Odisha government for making transgender people eligible to apply for the police force.
“This will sensitise people and go a long way in empowering transgenders and help them return to the main stream. I urge our community members to apply for the posts in large numbers," said Meghna.
In 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the right of transgender persons to self-identify their gender and directed states to uphold this without mandating any form of bodily transition like surgery or hormonal therapy.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)