When schools told Punjab and Haryana High court that they were unable to find women helpers in buses to provide safety to girl child in buses from sexual abuse by male drivers or helpers, the court ordered the schools to employ transgenders for the job as a safety measure.
The court, responding to a suo moto petition, after a 5-year-old child was abused by a bus helper, said the possibility of employing the transgenders may keep the fears of parents away. However, many parents were not convinced about the directive.
Retorting objection from some parents[poll id=”44″], the court cited the Supreme Court’s recognition of transgenders as the third gender, and asked Punjab, Haryana governments and UT Chandigarh to initiate steps to fix the responsibility of third gender for the role.
However, some transgenders expressed apprehension that taking up the job of a bus helper will deprive them the prerogative of seeking alms at busy bus junctions, while many said they will be happy to serve the society in their spare time instead of giving the age-old tradition.
“We are ready to serve the society in our spare time but I don’t think members of this society will join as bus helpers as they are mature and old. The young people are free to join and may consider joining if they are assured that their jobs are permanent,” Meena, a Chandigarh based transgender leader told Mail Today.
So, the key lies in making job permanent or regularised. If they are given training, there is scope that they would be helpful in protecting women from eve-teasers and child-abusers in buses everywhere.