Employability of Eunuchs


Ms. G. Barani
Lecturer (SS)
Department of Management Studies
Kongu Arts and Science College
Erode-638 107

Reservation : The most powerful word in the political agenda.

Today everyone is talking about 33% reservation for women and need for reservation for the scheduled castes, tribes and other minority communities. Silently, a strange group of people are fading away from the society's view.

Are we aware of it?
Who are they?

The Eunuchs- the Trans genders- the third sex- the kothis- the Hirja's.

Whatever be the name, they are one species of the HUMAN race who are born with a male physique and grow with a female psyche.

So, is this their problem?

Of course not! It is the game played by nature during the maturity stage of the male sex. Purely the male sex. This is the stage when they enter into the stage of severe conflict about their own identity and carried away by an urge for a new identity, yet denied any kind of social support. This so happens in their adolescence that they are so cruelly treated by their own parents, teachers and friends thus making them run away from their abodes.

Then another pain starts when they start seeking for a group of their own identity. When they join the group of eunuchs for social support, they need to take up a gender transformation surgery (process of removing the male genital organs). Since this kind of surgery is still not legally recognized, they are done in the most haphazard manner i.e., other eunuchs (Guru amma) performing it in the most unhygienic conditions. No anesthetics- no theaters. The surgery is over. One can here realize the pain a eunuch is undergoing during and after the process of this surgery. If at all some private hospitals do such a surgery, they charge a handsome amount as it is against the law.

When people long for recognition, they are the ones who do not want to be or dwell in the fear of being identified. It is because of the wrong projection of these transgenders by the media. How do we come to know about them?

* Clapping their hands
* Asking for money
* Making odd movements
* Unusual dressing

Are they just this? How do they live? What kind of security does this society or Government offers them? This is a question left unanswered so long. Because they are totally ignored by the society, these eunuchs are pushed into a state of taking up sex work or begging as their means for livelihood that too under severe harassment of the Gundas and the police.

When they are out of their homes, if at all they have any,

* How do they travel?
* Do they get a seat?
* Which toilet will they use?
* Whom will they marry?
* Who will protect them in their final days?

These are some issues that pester the ultimate existence of the transgenders. Should they go through such a pain for the biological craziness? Why do we- educated, supposed to be rational human beings- absolutely ignore the existence of the third sex? When we know that there is a third sex, why don't the columns in application forms carry an extra word in the column of sex? Just because of this issue these people are devoid of

* Their citizenship rights
* Property rights
* Human rights
* Right to vote
* Eligibility for passport
* Obtaining driving license
* Ration card
* Opening a bank account
* Enjoying any Government scheme

Since this exploitation starts at the schools itself, they fear to face such an environment, thus discontinuing their studies. So no education- no job- no earning no savings. How do we expect them to live? Because they are eunuchs, they need to pay more house rentals and face many such problems.

Today, there is a positive trend in the functioning of the eunuchs. Irrespective of the physical, mental and financial problems, they have started organizing themselves into associations to fight for their rights. Gone are the days, when eunuchs wanted to hide their identity. Now, they are bold enough to organize themselves into open social groups. They are involved in spreading HIV awareness, female infanticide and such other socially sensitive issues.

Many NGO's have come to their rescue and one can find a eunuch owning a grocery or a garment shop, running a dance troop or having a tiny KVIC unit. But this is happening only in few areas of this vast country. An attempt to quantify the problems and possibilities for improvement through structured questionnaire adopted in a usual academic style had a slapping effect. Such an attempt clearly explained their difficulties in answering, what we think are basic demographic questions. E.g.: what is your occupation?

So a need for a more sensitive approach in exploring these issues is required. The Government, NGO's and academicians should start focusing their attention on addressing the needs of the third sex. Otherwise, this will lead to every ones unconscious participation in a great social injustice. Let it be domestic work or business, the eunuchs have great potentials that is waiting to be exploited. As academicians, we should strive to work for the advancement of this gender through:

1. Right projection to the students
2. Exploring opportunities and suggesting possibilities to the policy makers.

Academic research and Government actions have always gone hand in hand.

Let us be good HR's in the real sense.

Ms. G. Barani
Lecturer (SS)
Department of Management Studies
Kongu Arts and Science College
Erode-638 107

Source: E-mail February 27, 2008


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