Tuesday, March 24, 2009
DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Hijras are denied any quota in employment on the basis of their handicap (if it is there) and also deprived of opportunities to take education because of people’s attitude towards them. From our preliminary research, it is evident that few of the hijras are willing to work because of the discrimination that they have been subjected to when they tried to look for employment opportunities. Laila narrates, “I was employed as a servant in one of the houses. Once when I served a glass of water to a guest she refused to take it from me only because I was a hijra and later the owner refused to keep me anymore”. It is thus evident that even if the eunuchs want to work, we do not give them enough employment opportunities. We eliminate them and this stigmatized group of people remains victims to ridicule. Since they are made fun of in schools, at employment and discouraged from working like other individuals, the only options left for the hijras to earn their living are beggary and prostitution. They roam the streets, taking feminish names like Shabnam, Chanda and Laila and beg for money. Sometimes they face dejection and sometimes abuse and exploitation. “We want to be treated like normal human beings. We want to have a voice, be heard”, said Savera, one of the hijras interviewed. “We have emotions too, we feel like all other men and women and we get hurt when people ridicule us”.