Indian Railways and Union Railway Minister Ashnwini Vaishnaw has received high praise from Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, for the ministry's “progressive” initiative of installing a ‘Trans Tea Stall’ at Guwahati Railway station.
Vaishnaw had announced the opening of the tea stall on Monday via Twitter and shared pictures of the stall, which is pink in color and staffed by two transgender individuals. The booth appears to sell cold drinks, juices, biscuits, and other items as well.
“India’s first ‘Trans Tea Stall’ at a railway platform. Guwahati Railway Station,” wrote Vaishnaw.
Mahindra retweeted Vaishnaw’s post and commented, “This one small initiative is, in my view, as significant & transformational as your many other progressive projects. Indian railways carries over 8 billion people. And most importantly, excludes no one. Bravo @AshwiniVaishnaw.”
The ‘Trans Team Stall’ at Guwahati Railway station is entirely managed by members of the transgender community. The North East Frontier Railway (NEFR) initiated and implemented the project and collaborated with the All Assam Transgender Association. The NEFR aims to empower the transgender community and plans to open more such tea stalls at other railway stations in the area.
Swati Bidhan Baruah, Associate Vice Chairman of the Assam Transgender Welfare Board, expressed optimism that more trans-persons might receive rehabilitation in the future through various government programmes.
Despite the gradual improvements in the rights and conditions of transgender people in the country, much more work is needed to provide them with the opportunities and life they deserve.
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