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Govt employee asks Jharkhand CM for different job after sex-reassignment surgery

The 28-year-old was employed as a lady supervisor with the women and child welfare department in Sarakela Kharsawan. However, after the subject underwent the surgical procedure, he was no longer eligible to serve in the position.

ranchi Updated: Jan 30, 2018 17:50 IST
Saurav Roy
Saurav Roy
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
An activist waves a rainbow flag during an LGBT pride parade.
An activist waves a rainbow flag during an LGBT pride parade. (Reuters File)
         

A Jharkhand government employee* who recently underwent sex-reassignment surgery has sought chief minister Raghubar Das’ help in procuring a job profile that better suits his present gender.

According to an application filed with the chief minister’s office, the 28-year-old was employed as a lady supervisor with the women and child welfare department at Ichagarh block in Sarakela Kharsawan. However, after the subject underwent the surgical procedure on March 11, 2017, he was no longer eligible to serve in the position.

A lady supervisor is ideally placed in charge of 25 to 30 anganwadi centres under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). These centres ensure that children (three to six years old) and pregnant/lactating women in rural areas receive proper nutrition.

Repeated requests to the department for a “man’s job” went in vain. On June 11, the employee sought the local office’s permission to continue in the post of lady supervisor until the allotment of a suitable position was done, but the request was turned down.

“I have asked my department for an equivalent job with the same salary. It was important for me to undergo the surgery, but I was not prepared for what was to follow. I am yet to receive fresh joining orders,” the employee said.

He then lodged a complaint with the chief minister’s Jan Samwad – a platform for commoners to redress their grievances – on November 25. Though the case was listed for hearing on Tuesday, it was not taken up due to procedural reasons.

Sunil Barnwal, secretary to the chief minister, claimed that the introduction of a provision for changing one’s job profile after a sex-reassignment surgery requires alterations in the state government’s policy. “This is the first time we have received such a case. It has been kept on hold for now,” Barnwal said, adding that it will be taken up separately by senior officials of the state government.

A government official said on the condition of anonymity that it was possible to give the employee a job in administrative sections of the ICDS. Several men occupy various positions equivalent to that of a lady supervisor there, he added.

(*Name withheld to protect the subject’s identity)

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 17:50 IST

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