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‘Mo Bus’ gets first transgender conductors

Bhubaneswar: Setting an example for the people from the transgender community, two transgenders have started working as conductor in ‘Mo Bus’, a pubic transport managed by Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) in Bhubaneswar.

Wasima in Mo Bus conductor uniform.

Wasima has done M.Tech, however she has recently started working as a conductor in ‘Mo Bus’. “It’s been just four days in the job and I am happy. I am glad that CRUT has given us this opportunity to be financially stable.”

Speaking about her decision to work as a conductor, she said, “With no social security and livelihood option, transgender community has been struggling for their existence since long. Even if they are well qualified, they struggle to get a job according to their educational qualifications.”

“When I leant that CRUT is offering jobs to transgenders, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to earn and simultaneously pursue my further education,” added Wasima.

As per sources, CRUT is also planning to train transgenders to drive e-buses which are likely to be introduced soon in the city.

Thirty five year old Surmayee Das is the another transgender to join ‘Mo Bus’ as conductor. She travels on route 12 bus. “I am extremely happy with this new role,” she said.

Surmayee inside Mo Bus.

She is also planning to train as ‘Mo bus’ driver. “I have learned that CRUT is planning to train transgenders for e-buses. I know how to drive and I am interested in becoming an e-bus driver in Mo Bus. I hope that I will be selected in that as well,” shared Surmayee.

She also loves painting and wants to pursue her passion for creativity. She even wanted to pursue art courses but financial issues became a stumbling block. “I have been painting for quite some time. It makes me happy. After eight hours of duty as Mo Bus conductor, I will devote my time to painting,” she added.

Sharing their vision General manager, CRUT Dipti Mohapatra said, “Public transport is a male dominated sector, but CRUT has a vision to make it gender neutral with the presence of women and transgenders in public transport. We started engaging women as conductors since 2018 and now we have included transgenders.”

CRUT is also going to introduce e-rickshaw in Bhubaneswar. “We are also planning to introduce e-rickshaw where only women and transgenders will be included as drivers,” shared Dipti.

Stating that transgenders need to be included in the mainstream, she said, “We are keen to give them opportunities and we have already taken a step forward. Some members from the community have come forward to a be part of the initiative. We hope in future their presence will be equally noticed as our effort is to include them as drivers as well.”

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