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Transgender’s new opportunity at life provided by the Indian Navy

More often than not, transgenders and their acceptance into the Indian society is taboo subject. But just may the doors might be opening a bit wider.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday offered a job in a private company to an ex-sailor who was discharged from service for undergoing a sex change surgery.

The Navy told the Delhi High Court that it could facilitate the ex-sailor to the job of a data entry operator in a private company, which works for the government.

On behalf of the ex-sailor, senior advocate Anand Grover told the court that the offered job paid much less than what his client was getting while being on the rolls of the Navy. After the senior advocate sought time to talk to his client on the offer, the HC posted the matter for hearing on December 15.

Manish Kumar Giri (25), who has since changed her name to Sabi Giri, was discharged from service in October this year by the Navy as part of its policy to not to employ female sailors.

Call for leniency

The HC had agreed with the Navy’s decision not to allow Ms. Giri as a sailor but called for a lenient view due to the precedent nature of the issue. It had asked the government if it could make an arrangement where Ms. Giri could be accommodated to another clerical post in the Navy.

In October 2016, Ms. Giri took three weeks’ leave to undergo the surgical procedure in Delhi. She rejoined her job on the stipulated date, but pretended that nothing had changed. It was only when the sailor came down with a urinary tract infection that the Navy doctors found out that she had undergone a sex re-assignment surgery.

In her petition, she has sought direction from the HC to reinstate her in the same rank and pay. She also challenged Section 9 of the Navy Act that allows the enrollment of only male sailors and limited entry of women sailors in specific departments, but has no provision for enrollment of transgender sailors.


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