"Privacy of human beings constitutes the cardinal rule of our constitution. Make way for progressive realization of social and economic rights and to begin a dialogue for ensuring individual rights reports, have to bid adieu to perception stereotypes." - Chief Justice Dipak Misra
It's been more than a year since the landmark judgment by the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality in India and we're happy that we're awakening into a new age where the country is a little more inclusive. While we still have a long way to go when it comes to ending bigotry and queer bullying that the LGBTQAI+ community has been facing for years, the judgement definitely was a step in the right direction.
An important aspect that we need to look at is how are we helping the community economically, and if they're getting the same job opportunities as everyone else.
Marginalised communities like the LGBTQAI+, that have faced discrimination, need to be brought into the forefront where their voices are heard just as loudly as the majority. Economic independence and a place in the corporate sphere allows people to do just that.
Tata Steel just announced that it has introduced a new human resource policy that enables employees from the LGTBQAI+ community to declare their partners as dependents. This will allow them to avail all the company benefits permissible under the law.
The company came out with a statement saying, "The company's vision is to be a world-class equal opportunity employer where everyone is respected and every voice is heard. It is a constant endeavour of the company to create an enabling workplace for all diverse groups, respecting and embracing the differences in the individuals."
When talking about 'partners' they mean same-sex couples living together. They will get a host of benefits including health-check ups, medical facilities, adoption leave, and new-born parent and child care leave. They can also avail financial assistance for gender reassignment surgery and avail 30 days of leave for the same.
The LaLiT Suri Hospitality group became the first hotel group to include same-sex partners, adoptive parents and children, and children born through surrogacy under its employee health insurance cover. The Executive Director of the LaLiT Group, Keshav Suri, has been an advocate for LGBTQAI+ rights and a forerunner of the movement in the country.
He said, "Every human being deserves to be treated equally, irrespective of their sexual orientation, caste or colour. Health is the most basic necessity for all humans, and as a leader I felt it was necessary to ensure a healthy future for all our employees."
IBM India Private Limited also has many LGBT-friendly policies in place. They hosted a pride walk in its Gurugram campus where their company employees and members from the community at large can participate. Prachi Rastogi, the diversity and inclusion leader, also said that many IBM employees had come out at work even though they couldn't live their truths in front of their families.
Sodexo India has made it a point to hire at least four people from the transgender community into its company. They are even running a campaign at work against homophobia. Sanjeevni Chavan, a 31-year-old transwoman working at Sodexo, said that she had grown tired of showing up for interviews where the only response was that their staff wouldn't be comfortable around her.
A huge round of applause to these companies for making it a point to make the workplace more inclusive setup. You guys are the country's pride! Let's paint India in the myriad shades of the rainbow together.
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