As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kochi metro today, all eyes were on the brand new transport addition the Kerala government has added.
There are many reasons why the country needs to be proud of the metro line – not just because it was completed in time and that it is setting an example of using clean energy, but the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL) is also setting an excellent example of women empowerment.
About 80% of the staff employed at the KMRL is women. The ground staff, to operators and loco drivers, women will be manning the front at this metro line.
The women employed here are all based in Kerala, and had been employed under the condition of having full knowledge of Malayalam language. There is a total of 39 loco pilots, seven of them are women.
These women will be working in eight-hour shifts and are being lauded by their families as they have become a part of the newest Metro line in the country.
And in another first, the Kerala government has also provided opportunities for the transgenders to get full-time employment at the metro service. The community has been ostracised all their lives and has been fighting for equal rights since the dawn of time.
However, the Kerala government has led the way in this case as well. There has not been any company before who has employed transgenders officially. A total of 60 transgender shave been hired by the KMRL and out of them, 23 will be managing the operations like ticketing and maintaining the metro line.