In a historic move, Zoya Khan has become India's first transgender operator of a Common Service Centre in Gujarat to provide telemedicine consultation. Her recruitment is a part of efforts to empower the transgender community by making them digitally literate.
Enthralled with the opportunity, Zoya told the media, “I am thankful that I was chosen to be the first in my community. I am taking this very positively as I would be able to help people in need.” She is currently undergoing training sessions to keep herself up-to-date about all the government schemes, so that she can help people of her community.
The Common Services Centres (CSC), which is under the aegis of Digital India, are instrumental in making digital inclusion of rural India a reality. “These are access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country,” says the Digital India website.
Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, released an official statement on Twitter:
Zoya Khan is India's first transgender operator of Common Service Centre from Vadodara district of Gujarat. She has started CSC work with Tele medicine consultation. Her vision is to support transgender community in making them digitally literate & give them better opportunities. pic.twitter.com/L0P9fnF2JT— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) July 4, 2020
A step in the right direction
Speaking about this step, District Manager of CSC Vadodara, Asif Ali Pathan, shared, “As the country is changing, I thought of involving a transgender person to be a Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) in CSC with the support of my colleagues. Zoya would be involved in the banking and education sectors.”
Recently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the authorities concerned to share their views for recruiting transgender people in the rank of the assistant commandants (ACs). The ministry plans to include the ‘third gender’ category along with male and female, as part of the CAPF recruitment exams.
In 2017, K Prithika Yashini became the first trans-woman to become a police officer in India, while Joyita Mondal became the first transgender to assume the role of a judge in Lok Adalat.
Zoya’s induction will serve as a ray of hope for the transgender community, and is expected to take them on new opportunities.
(Edited by Athira Nair)