In a first for the state, the Karnataka government has announced reservation for ‘male third gender’ in recruitment to the state armed forces.
State Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Tuesday said the process to recruit constables to fill 3,484 posts in the Karnataka Armed Forces has started.
”For the first time in the state, 79 posts have been reserved for the ‘male third gender’,” he said.
Transgender activists hailed the move to provide quota.
”I welcome the decision,” Karnataka ‘Rajyotsava’ awardee Akkai Padmashali, a transgender and founder of ‘Ondede’ which works for transgenders’ welfare, told PTI.
The queer activist said the announcement is ”a mainstreaming of the third gender” but added ”there is no third gender called ‘Male Third Gender’.” ”What I understand from their (government) point of view is that probably, they are referring to the ‘female to male transformed transgender man’,” Padmashali said.
Minister Jnanendra said of the total vacancies, 420 posts have been reserved for candidates from ‘Kalyana Karnataka’ region or the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region, with 11 of them for the ‘male third gender’.
For the rest of Karnataka, recruitment will be held to 3,064 posts, of which 68 are reserved for the ‘male transgender’, Jnanendra said.
He said the recruitment will take place in a ”most transparent manner”, and the last date for submitting the form online is October 31.
Regarding the plight of transgenders, Padmashali said: ”Even if someone wants to go to the police department, then it requires certain qualifications. Here most of us transgenders are illiterate and school dropouts — not even passed 10th standard, forget the (college) degree. There are so many nuances behind it.” There is also a need to understand various ”cultural identities and diversity of existence” within the transgender community such as ‘Jogappa’, ‘Marla’, ‘Jogta’, ‘Shakti’, and ‘Akka’, Padmashali pointed out.
The activist also appealed to the government to undertake an ‘immediate survey’ to understand the community better and set up a ‘Transgender Welfare Board’ to promote their well-being.