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India’s first Transgender Women Cab Driver leads a campaign to introduce transgender-friendly public toilets

Bhubaneswar:22/7/19:India’s first transgender woman Cab Driver starts change.org petition asking for accessible public toilets; meets Bhubaneswar Municipal Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Srimanta Mishra

India’s first transgender woman cab driver Meghna Sahoo started a change.org petition asking for inclusive toilets

Meghna wants the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to become the first authority in the country to introduce transgender-friendly public toilets. 

The Deputy Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), met Meghna Sahoo, in the city last week regarding her campaign asking the BMC to include transgender logos in all public toilets.

On Feb 11, 2019, Meghna started a petition on change.org asking the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to commit to including transgender logos in all public toilets in Bhubaneswar. Over 20,000 people have signed her petition on change.org.

Meghna has been a cab driver for 3 years now but her daily struggles as a transgender woman cab driver have been traumatising. She hasn’t been able to take long-distance rides because of lack of transgender-friendly toilets and has been cornered for trying to use women’s toilets.

While there is an exclusive toilet in Bhubaneswar exclusively for transgenders, Meghna felt that a single toilet at one location is not a sustainable or an enabling solution especially for people like her who may have a livelihood that demands travelling. Harrowed by her personal experience, she started her petition on change.org to have transgender logos put up outside the toilets for clear communication.

In her petition on change.org, Meghna says, “This lack of access to basic facilities truly hurts me as an individual and strips me of all dignity. I feel helpless and excluded. With a transgender logo, transmen and transwomen can access both segregated toilets as well as unisex toilets. This will not just help the transgender community, it will also sensitise people about the issue.”

About Change.org

Change.org is the world’s largest technology platform for social change. It allows people to start and support campaigns on issues that concern them. Change.org does not start petitions on its own. Over 1.7 crore people currently use Change.org in India.

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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