It has not been many months post Quest2016, a two day National Seminar on Queer Discourses and Social Dialogues, held at Centre for Development Studies(CDS, Trivandrum), organized by Queerala in association with Dr J Devika of CDS. One of the key attraction of the research conference was the panel Discussion on ‘Queer and Inclusion’, which discussed educational and workplace inclusion of LGBTIQ community and related challenges in India. Despite the surging solidarity for sexual minorities in Kerala and as a state having envisioned nation’ first Transgender policy, employment opportunities for people from the gender minority have been hardly initiated and implemented. While hardly any educational institution, company or institute, in Kerala, has considered Diversity and Inclusion as an organizational priority, Centre for Development Studies has opened doors for employing a transgender person.
Sree S Sree, who isn’t a novel face at CDS, has been appointed as a document digitization assistant under the guidance of Dr J Devika, Associate Prof, CDS. Sree, who has a post graduate degree in Demography, had worked earlier as a project assistance at CDS but sans revealing identity. On a note of joy, Sree says :
“The lack of awareness about gender identity issues in the workplace is concerning as these forms of ignorance further endure discrimination against transgenders. Workplace inclusion and non-discriminatory policies will have positive impact on individuals around, resulting in less prejudice and improved visibility for the community about being LGBT”
Dr Devika, who currently leads a project on TG policy implementation and anti-homophobia campaign at Local Self Governance levels, considered the notion of minority inclusion for the job opening as a part of the ongoing project. She was all glad to have Sree, as referred by Queerala, as an apt resource person for the opening.
“Sree is hired as an Archiving Assistant responsible for the digitization of documents related to Panchayati Raj in Kerala and am extremely joyous to have her as my colleague at the Research Unit on Local Self Government at CDS”
Sree, who joined for the job , wishes to purse the work, on a long term basis while focus on her involvement for the LGBTIQ community in Kerala. We hope that the inspiring action by CDS, which shall certainly serve as a transit landscape, would not only let more private/public organizations to initiate replicable models for LGBTIQ inclusive HR policies and queer friendly workplaces but also strengthen discussions pertaining to workplace practices there by enhancing a more acceptable and tolerant job environment, in Kerala. As we realize that workplace inclusion is crucial to recognize the need for advocacy in this field, which will unambiguously enhance rapid progress to revamp the quality of life and thereby contributing to the happiness index of queer community. We wish Sree a successful career. Let there be more dynamic responses from employers to value LGBTIQ equality!