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India's Supreme Court gave transgender people "third gender" recognition in 2014.
A growing number of Indian companies are now actively hiring transgender people. India's 2011 census recorded half a million transgender people, but campaigners estimate the number at about 2 million.
By Roli Srivastava
MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – During a training session for its first set of transgender recruits, officials from the new metro rail company in the southern Indian city of Kochi asked them if they had any concerns. They had just one: bathroom access.
“The project construction was complete by then and the stations were ready,” said Reshmi Chandrathil Ravi, a spokeswoman for Kochi Metro Rail, a new network in the port city launched at the weekend by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“So we are now turning the big bathrooms for the differently-abled into all-gender bathrooms to be shared with the disabled,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The washroom signs have now been removed and sent for a fresh “inclusive design”. And the company has allowed its transgender recruits to choose a male or female uniform.
Kochi Metro Rail is the first government-owned company to recruit staff from the transgender community as part of Kerala state’s initiative to give the marginalised group better access to job opportunities.
Since India’s Supreme Court gave transgender people “third gender” recognition in 2014, a growing number of Indian companies have actively hired transgender people and drafted policies to ensure they are not discriminated against in the workplace.
India’s 2011 census recorded half a million transgender people but campaigners estimate the number at about 2 million. Less than half are literate and even fewer have jobs, according to the census. Traditionally, transgender people in India have been confined to the margins of society.
Male-to-female “hijras”, the most visible group in the transgender community, feature in Hindu mythology and are seen as auspicious oddities whose blessings are sought at weddings and births.
[bctt tweet=”Male-to-female Hijras are considered auspicious by Hindus.”]
This popular perception of transgender people has meant they have struggled to find regular jobs, campaigners said.
But attitudes are slowly starting to change.
“At least 12 to 13 of our member companies already have all-gender bathrooms. This started happening since last year,” said Rashmi Vikram, senior manager with Community Business, a charity that supports firms seeking to be more socially inclusive.
“Some companies have turned the disability restroom to all gender, all-abilities restroom, promoting it in a way that there is no stigma attached to it. It didn’t require a big infrastructural change, but it sent out a positive message.”
BUDDIES AND BENEFITS
A handful of firms have gone beyond ensuring bathroom access.
Global technology firm ThoughtWorks hired a transgender person in its Bangalore office as part of a diversity initiative last year and went on to provide an office buddy and an external counsellor to its new employee to smooth the settling-in period.
And in a first, IBM – named as the world’s most LGBT-inclusive company by Amsterdam-based Workplace Pride Foundation – will from this year cover gender affirmation surgery under its corporate health benefit plan, a spokeswoman for IBM India said.
Another major Indian IT firm that opened a new campus in Mumbai last year ensured at the planning stage it would have a unisex bathroom following requests from transgender employees.
Some firms are also hand-holding transgender staff during the initial employment period and keeping their identities discreet on request, but campaigners say the trend is restricted to big companies.
Nyra D’souza, a transgender woman, never took a bathroom break when she worked at a Mumbai outsourcing firm – uncomfortable in the men’s washroom and not allowed in the women’s facility.
It meant holding on for 15 hours before she reached home.
At job interviews, she had been told to consider fashion, beauty or films for a job “where I could be myself”.
But when she was interviewed at Mumbai-headquartered Godrej – a leading Indian conglomerate with interests ranging from consumer goods to real estate – she was asked about her work experience, not gender.
This, a Godrej spokeswoman said, was in tune with the company’s policy to make all interactions gender-neutral.
“Such experiences are limited only to big companies, not small,” said D’souza, who finds others from her community struggling to find jobs, or dignity in the workplace if they do.
After the Supreme Court ruling, campaigners said more companies are coming forward to recruit transgender people, but are reluctant to make adaptations.
“Over the past year, we have got nearly 15 requests from companies that wish to hire a transgender, but they retreat when I ask them about bathroom access,” said Koninika Roy of the Mumbai-based Humsafar Trust that works with the LGBT community and tries to match them with jobs.
The trust had one successful placement in the last year.
But Solidarity Foundation, a Bangalore-based rights group that works with sexual minorities, had more success – it placed 15 transgender people over the last year.
“Companies are becoming more open and talking about these issues, but integration is still not part of their DNA,” said Shubha Chacko, executive director of Solidarity Foundation.
Chacko cited the case of a transgender person detained at the office gate by security guards on his first day at work.
“The biggest challenge in India is the mindset. They connect transgender to people who beg on the streets, do sex work or sing at weddings,” said Vikram of Community Business.
“We still have a long way to go. A lot more work needs to be done.”
(Reporting by Roli Srivastava @Rolionaroll; Editing by Ros Russell. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)
By Himanshu Agarwal
While smart homes are typically about connected and automated devices and appliances, making it a super convenient and comfortable living experience for residents, there is one connection that we often seem to miss when we speak of smart homes -- the inextricable connection with the indoor home environment.
After all, smart living is also about smart breathing. Unless we breathe clean and pure air even within our homes, smart living remains an incomplete aspiration. Therefore, as we pivot big time to a modern lifestyle with nearly 24/7 gadgets, utilities, and network dependency within our homes, a sense of balance with respect to the indoor ambiance must also be attained. And this balance necessarily means breathing pristine, unadulterated pure air even at homes.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes
Of course, in this time and age when we are actively using some smart device or the other within the premises of our smart homes most of the time, the point that we are also breathing 24/7 need not be as labored. However, the question is: whether the quality of the air that we are breathing indoors is commensurate with the aspiration for this so-called quality of life and experience of living in high-class homes. In other words, even as we think we are living the 'high life' using all the fancy gadgets and increasing convenience in life, unless we breathe the right air, the desire and dream of quality living will not find true meaning.
Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes. | Photo by Ale Romo Photography on Unsplash
Indoor air is worse than outdoor air
Contrary to the popular perception that the air quality in the external settings is worse than that of indoors, the reality is that indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. This is not only because outdoor air gets natural circulation and revitalization as opposed to indoor air with a higher likelihood of getting stale by its very nature. But this is also based on solid scientific evidence. In fact, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels and can even top the outdoor levels of the same pollutants 100 times in some cases. In these times of pandemic, it is worthwhile mentioning that even the transmission rate of the coronavirus is higher in indoor settings than outdoors.
Indoor air is often found to be more impure and unhygienic for our health and living. | Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
Efficient energy use reminds us of the need for efficient human energy too
Smart homes naturally mean the most efficient and optimized energy use. There is a bit of irony in the fact that while we are living in an optimized energy-based setup, we are not optimizing our own energy here if we ignore indoor air quality. Breathing is a source of energy that sustains our body with oxygen, a life force that creates nearly 90 per cent of our bodily energy. If we wish to get the best of our breathing and internal energy system and indeed make everyday life and related pursuits more fulfilling, we need to breathe clean purified air all the time. A healthy life starts with breathing healthy air.
Smart homes naturally mean most efficient and optimized energy use. | Photo by Unsplash
In a nutshell, unless we have indoor air purification -- of the smart kind or otherwise -- within our smart homes, even living in smart homes doesn't make us smart enough! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: smart homes, energy, indoor, air, breathing, outdoor, smart, air purification
By - Jhon Richardson
People all around the world love shopping. When people go shopping for Anti social socil club hoodie they want to find the perfect pieces that fit them, look good on them, and are in season. People also know there are things you should watch for when shopping but tend to make some common mistakes during the evaluation process.
Buying clothes without trying it on
When buying separates you always need to try on each piece of clothing before purchasing it because not every color or size will look good on you. You don't want be stuck with two pieces of clothing that do not work well together or worse yet not having anything that goes well together because you didn't try on your purchases first! Not only can what you buy end up looking bad, but it can also make you feel bad about what you are wearing. So make sure to always try on your purchases to avoid this mistake.
Sweating the small stuff
When you pick out a few outfits, it's important to not get caught up in details that aren't worth getting stressed about because there are so many pieces of clothing out there and only so much money to spend on them! You don't want your outfit choice or buying decision ruined by something like whether the hem is straight or if the buttons line up perfectly when trying it on at home after purchasing it. It is easy enough to fix, but can also take away from shopping and spending time with friends and family over things that really aren't worth getting upset about in life that can be fixed easily.
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Buying on impulse
There are some people who don't even try their purchases on before purchasing them and unfortunately realize after the fact that they didn't like what they bought or it doesn't fit right and now it isn't returnable and is taking up space in their closet. This is a big mistake because we live in a world where you can shop for clothing at any hour of the day from your phone, tablet, or laptop, so there is no reason to make an impulsive buying decision that you will regret later because there will always be time to find something else if it's meant to be yours!
Along row of clothes on sale Image credit: Photo by Duy Hoang on Unsplash
Shopping for others more than yourself
Some women only want to buy things from Chrome Hearts Official Store for themselves when they are shopping if it's something that isn't meant to be shared with anyone else. The worst thing you can do is go shopping just for your friends or family members. You don't want to buy clothing that the other person may not like or that doesn't look right on them just because you wanted to get them something! The three of you could be so much happier if one of you was left out and everyone got what they actually wanted.
Settling for second best
You should never settle for second best when buying something, even if it is a deal or at a discounted price because it still means someone else will get what you're looking for and another piece of clothing will end up in the wrong home where it won't be appreciated the way it deserves to be! So if you find a piece of clothing that has all the right pieces in all the right places, make sure to buy it and never settle for anything less because your wardrobe can only benefit from including things that are really worth having.
Shopping in haste
If you go shopping in a hurry due to not having much time or being rushed because someone is waiting on you then your choices will end up doing more harm than good when trying them on at home. You'll end up with clothing that doesn't fit perfectly or isn't what you wanted since you didn't have enough time to consider everything. So slow down and take your time whenever possible so there aren't any regrets later.
Failing to consider your current wardrobe
You want to avoid this mistake at all costs because it's just a waste of time, money, and energy when you know what you have is fine or that there are so many pieces in your closet that don't go together. You have to have some knowledge about the clothing you already own before getting something new. So take an inventory of what you already have so you can make informed decisions before buying anything else!
Clothes Store Interiors can often tempt unplanned buying Image credit: Clark Street Mercantile
Buying things only because they're on sale
You may be so focused on getting a discounted price for items that aren't even your style or size which will just end up sitting in your closet unworn and wasting space because it doesn't fit right or look right because it wasn't meant to be. That's why you should only buy the best, most stylish clothing that fits your personal sense of style so there is no need to rush or settle for anything less!
Focusing too much on the price tag
You may end up passing over lots of things that are great deals, but not buying them because they don't have a high enough price tag making you think they weren't worth it even though you could get other pieces in your wardrobe without spending as much money elsewhere if you were shopping with a clear mind. The price tag doesn't mean everything when searching through your options for clothing!
Not checking how something will fit before buying it
This mistake can be a huge problem, especially when buying pants and skirts because you may not be able to return them or exchange them for something that will fit properly. You can't always trust the size on the tag so it's crucial to try clothing on before buying it whenever possible!
If you avoid these mistakes, then shopping can be one of your favorite things to do instead of another chore that just makes you angry at the end of the day because you didn't find anything worth having or spent too much money on what wasn't even right for you. So take your time every single time and never rush yourself by checking out all 10 mistakes so there are no regrets later!
Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do when it comes to shopping for clothes. Hopefully, this blog post has given you some helpful pointers on how to avoid these common mistakes and find your perfect look! Let us know if we can help with anything else - our team of experts are ready and waiting.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
Keywords: Shopping, Impulse, Sale, Clothes, Mistakes