I received a message from a batch mate and I connected with it instantly. So this week the ‘Pink Shoes’ is being featured on the IWH blog with the hope that it reaches out to more people and somewhere we all can contribute towards a change. Do have a look at what Manish Jain who has been a hotelier with an illustrious career spanning over 20 years and who is engaged in doing things quite ‘Out of the box’ has to say. Some of you may connect with his vision.
“Greetings, in an attempt to provide dignified employment to the third gender we have initiated our packaged drinking water facility which is managed by the hijra community. Kineer – blessed to quench your thirst, is an attempt to bring them into the main stream so that they may be empowered with jobs. We look forward to your support in buying and placing our water in your facilities.
Regards Manish (firstname.lastname@example.org)”
I liked the fact that Manish is trying to do ‘his bit’ in generating gainful employment for the third gender and I also see it as a cause that each one of us can support in some way or the other.
Out of sight is out of mind’ I guess that is what the society chooses to do with the plight of the third gender. Pushed to either beg or indulge into the flesh trade to survive for something which is neither a flaw nor a fault. Would we as the so called ‘civilized society’ offer to help and hand hold them into a life that any human being deserves or would we keep shrugging away our responsibility and turn a blind eye as we have been doing for so long. Most of us would want to help but then there is the Big Question – What can we do and Where can we accommodate them?
During his tenure at the healthcare industry Manish faced a unique challenge – Providing male attendants for male patients and female attendants for female patients. This would drastically increase his manpower cost for GDAs. This led to a thought – ‘ Could two issues self correct if merged’ What if we hire the third gender which could not only resolve this issue but also assist in the paradigm shift for them being treated as care givers henceforth. A person with the strength of a man and a heart of a woman, who could lift a stretcher if required and also mother a patient if needed.
The Pink Shoes believe that our community has gaps where the Hijras can fit perfectly. For example at India it is considered unsafe for a girl/ lady to travel by a cab/taxi alone. Our question is why can’t the cabs of leading cab operators be operated by the members of the third gender. This would not only eradicate the concern of safety for women travelers but would also provide a dignified employment opportunity for the Hijra. Same applies to washroom attendants – Male for Male and Female for Female – wouldn’t the neutral gender be the perfect fit?
Pink Shoes say the’d like to summarize with just two questions to you – ‘If not NOW then WHEN?’ and ‘If not US then WHO?’
Empowering employment opportunities for the third gender
Transgender – how did this community go from revered to living on the fringes of society? That is the plight of India’s estimated 5 million “hijras.”The term applies to a diverse group who identify as neither male nor female. They can range from natural intersex to male cross dresser.
Respected by the Mughals, but considered criminals by British colonisers, today many live as sex workers and beggars. We at Pink Shoes are looking at empowering the third gender with employment opportunities. In this regard we have already initiated placements with healthcare industry for them. We understand that the industry is a bit conservative at present to have them deployed at their sites so we have initiated our Sayजल vertical, which is our packaged drinking water brand. Our bottling plants are manned only by the neutral gender thus ensuring employment for this forgotten segment of our society.
“Kineer packaged drinking water factories would be manned only by the members of the third gender ensuring they get an opportunity to make a dignified living. If you feel your organizations can procure these from The Pink Shoe, you would be assisting in this paradigm shift in a big way” says Manish.
Can we be a part of this paradigm shift? IWH wishes Kineer success!