Kochi Metro has come as a pleasant dawn not just for the people of Kochi, but has given something to celebrate nationwide. Being in the news for the many firsts that the metro has incorporated, its initiatives are in the right direction towards a more inclusive, equal and accepting future.

Of the many steps taken by the corporation like having pillars with vertical gardens, using solar power, open loop metro cards, and using Communication Based  Train Control (CBTC) to make unmanned trains possible, the metro is especially being lauded nationwide for its inclusivity in employing a large number of women, and also members of the transgender community, and for keeping in mind the needs of the differently abled, and for leaving its workers with a heartfelt parting gift.

The vertical garden at the Palarivattom station.

The metro corporation had joined hands with social welfare group Kudumbasree by employing 500 of their women who will do various duties including loco-piloting. The move has definitely encouraged a women workforce, and also made the metro more women-friendly. According to a Deccan Chronicle report, women had applied for jobs in large numbers.

A step further, the metro has also employed 23 people from the transgender community for departments like housekeeping and customer care. This is the first time in India that a state owned company has officially hired so many transgender employees. The move is in line with Kerala’s Transgender policy of 2015, which was also the first of its kind.

Transgender people who have been appointed station employees.
Transgender people who have been appointed station employees.

A video shared by Kerela Information on 16th June featuring trans* people has been in much light. The video talks about exactly how they want to be, and should be treated – like any other person doing their work. The video, and more importantly this move by the Kochi metro has broken some very hard stereotypes and are earning well-deserved praise for the same.

The joy that many received via this metro would not have been possible without their workers, and the corporation made sure to extend a heartfelt gratitude to them. Before the official launch, migrant workers who came from places like Bihar and Bengal were treated by the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation to a traditional Keralite lunch and a dance party. They were also urged to write on a message board. According to a report by Mid-day the workers often worked 12 hours a day for a nominal pay.

The workers at the traditional sadhya after which they danced.

The second day after the launch of the metro was special for differently-abled children and elderly people. Deccan Chronicle reports around 450 differently abled people, 130 inmates of different institutions, and 20 children from the institution Our Responsibility to Children travelled from Kalamassery to Aluva station of the metro. Owing to the high elderly population in the state, the metro was a much needed respite from the otherwise uncomfortable road transport for the elderly.

Lalu K, a differently abled Basketball player

Also read: In A First, Kerala Hosts Sports Meet For Trans* People

The initiatives taken by the Kochi metro have made people happy all over, and rightly so, making this past weekend filled with excitement for the people of Kochi, and a brilliant example for other cities and corporations.


Featured image: www.trafficinfratech.com

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