The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) is trying to bring a positive change for the Transgender community by creating a metro station that is more inclusive of them by changing Sector 50 Metro station’s name to “She Man” metro station and by providing special facilities and job offers to the transgender community.
According to the announcement made by the NMRC in its press release, this step is being taken for inclusion and meaningful participation of trans people.
To do so, the staff of the metro station will be sensitised, will engage trans people at metro stations post required training as well as creating awareness through messages, announcements, signages and train pertaining to trans community. Additional changes such as restroom infrastructure and separate frisking facility for trans people will be explored.
But the change of name to “She Man” has been highly criticised by the trans community as the term “She man” is considered transphobic in nature.
Dr. Aqsa Shaikh, who identifies herself as trans woman while speaking with The Quint said that the decision to rename a metro station ‘She Man’ was “derogatory” for the community. She added that terms like ‘She Male’, ‘She Man’ or ‘Lady Boy’ were actually used as slurs against the members of the community and “a simple google search would tell anyone this” she said.
In a report by The Indian Express, Anjan Joshi, activist and co-founder of SPACE organisation, which works on LGBTIQ development and rights, said: “What do they mean by She Man? It is an insult to the gender diverse and gender non-conforming community. It is also transphobic as it is looking at gender through a binary lens as man and woman, and not ready to accept other gender identity. ‘She Man’ is a crude joke; it’s not an identity but an insult.”
In a PTI report, Ritu Maheshwari, MD NMRC, said “As per Census 2011, there are 4.9 lakh transgenders in India out of which 30,000-35,000 stay in NCR. The move will be an important step in providing meaningful inclusion and participation of the transgender community. The naming of the station will raise awareness and sensitivity,”
The initiative in itself has been praised but the name change did not go down well. Regarding the name, an NMRC official said that it was a collective decision by the Board of Directors and Stakeholders and the scheme has been envisaged by taking suggestions of NGOs actively involved in transgender issues.
With the name coming under fire, the NMRC in its press release on 22 June, wrote that they were open for suggestions by individuals and NGOs who work for transgender community for the terms of station and train announcement that resonates with the Transgender community.
On June 24, the NMRC released another press release confirming the name change of the metro station to “Rainbow” after receiving a number of suggestions from individuals and NGOs concerned about the community. It stated that NMRC has started this initiative with very noble intentions with the aim to empower the Transgender community by providing them with employment opportunities to help them become self-reliant and pave the way for their healthy inclusion and participation in the society.