Transgenders and employment in India: Opening doors of opportunities


Today we bring to you another hero who struggled and found a mentor in a school teacher who saved her life; the story of Tashi. Tashi identifies as a Transwoman and is a Connecting Dreams Foundation’s Transformation Fellow, 2021.  Tashi has completed the Career Progression Fellowship Program by Transformation, Connecting Dreams Foundation. The fellowship helped her learn basic computers and improve her English communication skills. It also helped build her confidence in herself and her abilities that ultimately helped her in bagging a job with the Ministry of Culture. The Professional Edge course of the Fellowship helped Tashi in grooming herself and presenting herself competently. This helped her bag a job with Aakash Institute as an Educational Counsellor. This built Tashi’s confidence and soon she found herself employed as a Presenter with none other than the Ministry of Culture.

Tashi, a Presenter with the Ministry of Culture 

Tashi’s story was not a smooth sail. Her confusion with her sexuality started during her school days. Like many people of the community, she was bullied and called names, she was also called dirty and abnormal by her classmates. Tashi didn’t find support in her school teachers. But her school principal, Mrs. Anuradha Govind was different.

Tashi’s School Principal, Mrs. Anuradha Govind, JM International School

“A teacher should assist students in growing as a connected human who values their parents, school, and country along with understanding their responsibility towards the society”
– Anuradha Govind

Anuradha had seen an episode of Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate where he spoke about LGBTQ Rights. She supported Tashi and even suspended the school counselor and two students who continued bullying her. This helped Tashi complete her schooling. 

However, Tashi was not so lucky with her family. When she came out to them, she was beaten up, and locked up at home. In her words, she felt like a ‘prisoner’ or like a ‘mental health patient’ stuck in an asylum. She then had to seek police intervention to come out of the house and later found support with Garima Greh, Delhi where she started working as a staff member and taking up modeling assignments part-time. 

It was here that she got to Connecting Dream Foundation’s Career Progression Fellowship: Transformation. It is India’s only Career Progression Fellowship for the LGBTQIA+, acid-attack survivors and PWD’s. The Fellowship helped her improve her English communication skills, groomed her personality and made her more confident in herself and her abilities. She also improved her computer skills and volunteered to support the Training Coordinator in maintaining attendance and other records on excel. With this motivation and hard-work, she excelled in the Fellowship with 83% in Spoken English and 66% in IT and Professional Edge.  It is these skill sets that helped Tashi bag the job of a Presenter at the Ministry of Culture. 

“I wanted to increase representation of the community members in various professions and now I have done that by bagging the job as a Presenter with the Ministry of Culture. I want to thank the Career Progression Fellowship Program for helping me in polishing my Spoken English, interpersonal communication skills and IT skills that came handy to me during the interview process.”

  • Tashi, Transformation Fellow 2021

Connecting Dream Foundation’s flagship Career Progression Fellowship Transformation is brought out in strategic partnership with Pride Circle and sponsorship support by Pernod Ricard India Foundation, HSBC and Avery Dennison. 

“I look at the narratives of development, not through the lens of marginalization but as a futurist. Our fascinations with exclusivity have led us to discriminatory settings. I aim to tell the stories of an inclusive world,” said Simi Mishra as she drives inclusion and builds sustainable communities.

Tashi as a model 

Today, the modeling industry is starting to be more open and accepting of the idea that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes — no matter the gender. In her spare time, Tashi models and has several assignments that she has done for some Fashion labels. Her poise, grace and wit are reflected not just in her personality but also in her work. Tashi does not believe in discrimination of any kind. With her work and assignments as a model, she is making the idea of a better world possible. 

  • Simi Mishra, PhD 

Director Inclusion & Program Advocacy

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