Kerala government launches ‘Pride’ project to provide jobs for transgender persons

Kerala launched the new scheme to provide employment opportunities to the transgender community in diverse and innovative sectors.

ByGeorge Michael

Published Jun 29, 2023 | 4:50 PMUpdatedJun 29, 2023 | 5:30 PM

Pride Project announced by Pinarayi Vijayan (facebook)

The Kerala government has launched an employment project for the transgender community of the state.

The primary objective of the project, named “Pride” is to empower and uplift the marginalised community by offering its members opportunities for meaningful employment.

It is expected to be offered based on their educational and skill-oriented qualifications.

Also read: Karnataka transgender community seeks more support money

Launch of the Pride project

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the launch of the “Pride” project in a Facebook post on Wednesday, 28 June.

He emphasised the government’s commitment to safeguarding all individuals’ civil and human rights and providing support to the transgender community.

The government aimed to tackle the high unemployment rates among transgender individuals and combat the invisibility crisis they face within society, he said.


“The project will help them resolve their unemployment issues and address the invisibility crisis they were facing in society through better job opportunities,” he said in the post

By partnering with the Knowledge Economy Mission and the Social Justice Department, the government seeks to leverage their expertise and resources to successfully implement the programme in gradual phases, he added.

Utilising the resources of these government-run departments, “Pride” sought to exponentially increase the employability in the community, he said.

It is expected to provide a platform for the community to apply for jobs through KKEM, as well as identify individuals with calibre for employment.

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Meeting employment goals

“The Pride project is also a part of the Kerala government’s effort to give jobs to 20 lakh people by 2026,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the post.

The project was also a step towards promoting inclusivity and diversity in the employment sector, he added.

By focusing on the transgender community’s employment needs, the government aimed to bridge the gap in job opportunities and address the socio-economic challenges they face, said Vijayan.

The scheme is being implemented jointly by the Kerala Knowledge Economy Mission (KKEM) and the state’s Social Justice Department.

The KKEM is an initiative of the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC). It aims to procure jobs for the educated by transforming Kerala into a “Knowledge Society” that produces, consumes and transacts knowledge for the benefit of its own social and economic development.

“Registering in the Digital Workforce Management System (DWMS) gets you shortlisted for various employment aids and schemes. Anyone from any community can register with any educational background,” a KKEM Helpdesk official informed South First when asked about the implementation of the mission.

It was established to meet the goal of giving employment to 20 lakh people by 2026, exactly what Vijayan said in his Facebook post.

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Getting the ball rolling

“As many as 382 people registered through the knowledge mission’s digital platform DWMS, and will be a part of the first phase of the Pride project,” said the chief minister in his Facebook post.

Another 1,628 beneficiaries of the Social Justice Department would be included in it in the next phase, he added.

Kerala became one of the first Indian states to initiate adopting transgender persons into mainstream society by introducing a “Transgender Welfare Policy” in 2016.

Subsequently, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited offered jobs to members of the transgender community, which is where Raga Renjini, who spoke to South First about her and the community’s experience, is employed.

“This will hopefully create more employment opportunities for people. There is a definite need to address the employment issues of the educated in the community,” Raga told South First.

Also read: Malappuram temple honours 1st transgender lawyer of Kerala

The obstacles

And this is important because it signals a change for the community.

“Such opportunities always seem out of reach for us, even if we are graduates or diploma-holders. And it is all because of stigma” she added.

She recalled that the first few people from the transgender community who joined Kochi Metro had to leave within months because no one would rent them a house in Kochi.

“We were initially offered contract-based jobs. The salary was low and most of my colleagues found it hard to sustain themselves, especially when it came to housing,” said Raga.

“It’s hard to find proper housing because of the high costs in Ernakulam. There’s the stigma as well,” she noted.

“It’s important to look after the welfare of the community after they are provided jobs. Especially the housing part,” she said.

Also read: Transgender persons in Udupi set up eatery, start new life

(With PTI inputs)