Despite being a certified nursing graduate, Rashika Raj has been unable to land a job. The reason? The young trans woman is unable to apply for a license to practise nursing, simply because there is no ‘other’ category in which she can apply. The Tamil Nadu Nurses and Midwives Council (TNNMC), which registers nurses in the state, only has two categories— ‘male’ and ‘female’ on their applications forms under the gender box.
Even though in 2014 the Supreme Court had ruled that transgender persons can apply for education and employment under the ‘other’ gender category, the TNNMC is reportedly awaiting a government order (GO) to implement the same.
Raj has had to struggle hard to pay for her own education and now she has lost a year’s work experience having been unable to practise or apply for a whole year. Raj had brought to the notice of the Government last year itself that the ‘other’ category needed to be included in the form. However, she was simply told to tick the ‘female’ category. But Raj asserts that she would not like to be identified as ‘female’ because this is not what she fought for. It was a challenging task for her to get her gender acknowledged in all her certificates.
Having been shunned by her family, Raj had to even beg and dance to earn the money to pay her fees. And all her sacrifices will come to nought if she is unable to register herself and practise nursing.