Transgender rights

Transwoman writes to President Kovind, seeks mercy killing after Air India allegedly refused her job

Shanavi Ponnusamy said that the airline told her its recruitment policy did not have a category for transgender people.

A transwoman from Tamil Nadu has written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking mercy killing after Air India allegedly denied her a job as a cabin crew member, PTI reported on Tuesday.

In November 2017, Shanavi Ponnusamy had moved the Supreme Court accusing the airline of gender discrimination. The Supreme Court had issued notices to Air India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation on the matter. Ponnusamy had said then that the airline denied her a cabin crew job though she had cleared the examination. The airline told her that its recruitment policy did not have a category for transgender people, she had said.

Ponnusamy had worked with Sutherland and Air India Customer Support before she underwent a sex change surgery. She said that she had applied for a job at the airline four times over a period of two years. While she had received a call letter for the post of female cabin crew, she was never offered the job, PTI reported.

In her letter to the president, Ponnusamy said that neither the state-run airline nor the ministry had responded to the Surpeme Court’s notice. “I am not in a condition to pay for my daily food expenses,” she wrote. “So it is not at all possible to manage the Supreme Court case by paying advocates.”

Ponnusamy said the government should be setting an example for others instead of being prejudiced against transgender people. “It is not about earning money to support a family,” she told The News Minute. “My job is for me to live a life of dignity and self respect. But even that seems too far out of my reach now.”

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