In a first-of-its-kind initiative by a metro rail system in northern India, the Noida-Greater Noida Metro has decided to convert the Sector 50 station into a “She-Man” station that will have special facilities and employment for the transgender community.
This step is being taken by the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) for the “inclusion and meaningful participation” of the members of the transgender community, NMRC Managing Director Ritu Maheshwari said.”
Earlier in 2017, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited in Kerala had taken a similar step by employing 23 transgenders, breaking new ground in gender justice.
Maheshwari said as per Census 2011, there are 4.9 lakh transgenders in India, out of which 30,000 to 35,000 are staying in Delhi national capital region.
“The ‘She-Man’ station will be on the lines of the Pink stations, which were inaugurated on March 8 this year and provided special facilities for women passengers. The staff deployed at the Pink stations also consisted only of women except security personnel,” she said.
“The ‘She-Man’ station will cater especially to the transgender community, though it will be open for all passengers, and will give facilities to facilitate the travel of the trans community in the metro system and also provide employment opportunities for them,” the NMRC MD added.
She said structural changes in terms of change in restroom infrastructure and creation of a separate security check for the community are also being considered at sector 50 station.
In a statement, the NMRC said it will also be generating awareness about the community among its other commuters through signages at its stations and announcements inside the trains and stations.
“The NMRC staff will also be sensitised and trained to communicate with the transgender community in a sensitive and cordial manner,” it said.
The NMRC said it also plans to include members of the transgender community into its system by engaging their services in various aspects of the functioning of its system, like ticket counters and other areas through deployed contractors.
“Transgenders will be provided proper training, like other NMRC employees, before being inducted into the NMRC system,” it added.
The NMRC has also interacted with various NGOs who work closely with the community to understand their challenges and struggles and devise an effective method for an inclusive society, according to the statement.
The NMRC said it has “always been sensitive” towards the needs of “all its commuters” who come from various walks of life and has made constant endeavours to provide a safe and comfortable travelling experience to all its commuters.
“Transgenders form a major chunk of the commuters that use the metro system to travel. This step by the NMRC will make the travelling experience for this community more enriching,” it said.
Also known as the ‘Aqua Line’, the Noida-Greater Noida Metro, which started functioning in January 2019, runs between the eponymous twin-cities of Gautam Buddh Nagar covering nearly 30 km over 21 stations.