In a first, the Odisha police on Saturday, 12 June, invited people from the transgender community to apply for positions within the police force.
The Odisha Police Recruitment Board invited virtual applications from men, women and transgender people for the posts of constables and sub-inspectors.
"I invite qualified women and men to join the Odisha Police as constables (communication) and SIs to serve the people of the state. Also, for the first time, people belonging to the transgender category can also apply for both the posts," Director General of Police Abhay said, as per PTI.
While the Odisha police force has opened its doors to the transgender community, people who are differently abled still remain ineligible to apply.
"Transgender candidates are eligible to apply, PWD (Persons with Disabilities) are not eligible to apply," the notification inviting the applications said.
The Odisha Police has issued a requirement for 477 sub-inspectors and 244 constables. The sub-inspectors will be recruited to the main police cadre, while the constable (communications) will be added to the technical cadre.
Reactions From the Transgender Community
Transgender collectives Third Gender Mahasangh and the Odisha Kinner hailed the Odisha police's landmark decision.
“For the first time, a public advertisement has been issued seeking application from transgender people in government jobs in the state. Including the transgender people in the force will not only boost the confidence of the community, but also change the society’s perception towards transgender people.”Mahasangh Founder-President Pratap Kumar Sahu said, as per PTI.
Sahu also noted that states such as Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have already set the precedent by recruiting transgender people in their police forces.
The collectives also thanked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the inclusionary move.
The Third Gender Mahasangh requested Chief Minister Patnaik to offer some moderation for the transgender candidates in the physical fitness evaluations. The body suggested that many of the applicants might not be able to compete with men and women in certain physical tasks such as running.
The Odisha government had previously said that it intends to recruit people from the transgender community for the posts of jail warders, but an acting order to that purpose is yet to be announced.
(With inputs from PTI)