First transgender tea stall at Guwahati railway station

Trans people have existed across all classes, races and castes. But their recognition has always come at a cost, with an added struggle. From access to social equality, social rights, education, jobs and so on.

But Indian railway had taken exceptionally different initiative, a special tea stall has been set up at the Guwahati train station by the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) to boost the transgender community. The stall will be fully managed by the member of transgender community.

NFR General Manager Anshul Gupta inaugurated the ‘Trans Tea Stall’ at platform number 1 on Friday in the presence of Swati Bidhan Baruah, Associate Vice Chairman of the Transgender Welfare Board of Assam. In the ceremony, Gupta said that the NFR has taken the initiative for the empowerment of transgenders.

This initiative is the first-of-a-kind in NFR as well as in the Indian Railways, he added. “This is also the first such initiative in any Central government organization and NFR will take more such initiatives at other railway stations in the region Anshul Gupta added.

The Centre had last year approved a comprehensive scheme ‘Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise’ which includes a sub-scheme for rehabilitation and welfare of transgender people.

Swati Bidhan Baruah said that she was hopeful that more trans people will be rehabilitated in the days to come, under various government schemes. Assam has some 5,500 transgender people but the number would be more if a proper survey is conducted.