At first, Jaison J thought 'mummy' was playing a trick on him, because it was April 1. But Arunima Sulfikar, who leads the Kudumbashree transgender unit Sheroes in Alappuzha, was serious. Amazon was recruiting delivery persons and Jaison and Shiva, both trans men, had bagged jobs.
“When there were issues at my home, I went to stay with mummy (Arunima) and she knew I was hunting for jobs to look after my mother who is unwell,” Jaison, aged 22, says. The Alappuzha sub collector Krishna Teja has been a huge help, both Jaison and Shiva say.
“He spoke to Amazon about giving us the offer, and also told the staff to be nice to us,” says Shiva, who is 29.
Jaison, who hopes to become a policeman – an SI – had to drop out in Class 12 when his mother became unwell. “I don’t have a father, only my mother, grandmother and brother. And only they support me. The other relatives do not support us. But I wish to study again and this job at Amazon is part-time. This will give me the time to study,” he says.
Before the Amazon job, Jaison had worked with a television channel, as a marketing executive and newsreader, in his new identity.
Shiva shares a similar history with Jaison, in that he too grew up without a dad. The latter died days before his birth. His mother raised him alone, and now she is in hospital and he has to look after her. “I worked in a two wheeler showroom for a few years and then in Lulu Mall as a cashier. When my mother got admitted, I began selling fish to make some money. And that’s when the Amazon offer came,” Shiva says.
He met Arunima through a mutual friend Ishaan, and she told him about the job. “I have a bike and a license and since Jaison does not, we go together," he says.