Awards and Recognitions
News 7 Tamil
Sharing our story and what this journey means to us.
Footage courtesy: News 7 Tamil YouTube Channel
Vice News visits PeriFerry's
Trans Inn facility
Acclaimed screenwriter Gazal Dhaliwal visits PeriFerry's Trans Inn facility in Bangalore with the Vice News team to listen to the stories of our trainees and inspire them to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Footage courtesy: Vice News
Infusing D&I into your company's DNA
Are you championing Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in your organization? Do you want to know why a D&I initiative didn’t meet expectations? Are you keen to explore nonconventional sensitization methods? For insightful answers rooted in ground realities, Neelam Jain is the person to turn to. Neelam is the founder of PeriFerry, a Bengaluru-based organization that helps LGBTQIA+ community members find jobs and earn a livelihood. After a short professional stint with Goldman Sachs, Neelam launched PeriFerry three years ago to make a difference for the transgender community. While her core focus is on creating equal opportunities for transgenders in India, the work on sensitization extends to the entire LGBTQIA+ sector. Neelam shares her views on what D&I encompasses, why investing in D&I makes social and business sense, the roadblocks that organizations face while implementing D&I initiatives and what it takes to sensitize the workplace.
A Trans candidate can tell if you're serious about Inclusivity: Nishant Agarwal
In 2020, when lockdowns were implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of India announced that every transgender person would receive Rs 1500 as a direct bank transfer. But as per a report in Business Standard suggests only 5711 individuals benefitted from it out of the estimated 4.8 million as many didn’t have bank accounts. If we go a few years back, a National Human Rights Commission survey in 2017 revealed that nearly 15% of transgender persons had no jobs and 69% were working in the informal sector. The survey was conducted among 900 transgender persons in the four districts of Uttar Pradesh and the NCR.
Upskilling trans community through COVID-19
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, it is to be fiercely resilient in the face of a storm. When COVID-19 hit us in March 2020, one of the most difficult realities we had to live through was knowing the drastic impact it would have on the trans community. Folks who were already living an invisible lockdown for most parts of their life; would now go through another, further limiting the minimal resources, financial dignity and freedom they had. Here’s how I learnt my first lesson. We had grand plans for the year. By February 2020 we had wrapped up REVIVE with ThoughtWorks, a residential training and employment program for 35 trans persons in Bangalore. By the end of our training, 23 of them had been placed in Bayer, ThoughtWorks, Goldman Sachs, ANZ, IBM, Refinitiv, Accenture, Amazon, PeriFerry and Vodafone. However for those who didn’t cut through the interviews, the next few months were nothing but a stretch. Our usual post — training job conversion of 92% plus fell to a mere 65%. The job market was on a freeze. Our summer residential training that aimed to impact 75+ trans persons was put on hold. The virus hit us hard. We packed our bags and came home (literally, back to Chennai). We spent the next few months building meaningful relationships with the community. The little things that we missed having the time for before, we vested ourselves into. Naturally, having meetups doesn’t put food on the table but it can go a long way for those who see no light or hope. For the community, it was fuel to fight the fight harder. By June, we noticed a renewed sense of hope and aspiration within the trans community to break free. Wanting to keep the momentum going, we reached out to one of our trusted partners. Together, the second iteration of Revive with ThoughtWorks was launched, though virtual this time around.
Of social enterprises and sustainability
In the journey to starting up PeriFerry, there were two questions that people asked us quite often. Why is your venture not an NGO? Why is this venture only for the transgender community? We launched a social enterprise to create employment opportunities for the transgender community. The first of its kind in the country. Unheard, unassuming and as you can guess, unexpected. Let me first tell you the most obvious reason for choosing social entrepreneurship. Through 2016, we reached out to multiple people pitching the idea of a tech platform to create jobs for transgender people and PWDs (persons with disabilities). While most impact investors were keen on the job creation aspect for PWDs, the thought of doing the same for trans persons met with a lot of skepticism. No sponsor, no investor believed it was possible to run a self-sustainable organisation dedicated to trans employment. Not at all. From a whole lot of “ do you have any data, has anyone does this before to can you do this just for PWDs” etc. Most folks were ok to see a problem but did not believe it was possible to fix the same; which only showed the deep conditioning of our society. Further pushing us to pursue a unique solution that focused on solving trans person’s livelihood issue.