Med­i­cal rep job for Mr Sinha, born a girl

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

Kolkata: Tr­is­han Sinha, Rahul Mi­tra, Ru­dra Dutta and 10 oth­ers are set to make a fresh start in their work lives. They are in a group of 13 trans-per­sons, born fe­male but who iden­tify as male, train­ing with a Kolkata-based pharma firm for two months now to be med­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives (MRs).

It is a mile­stone in many ways, but es­pe­cially for transper­sons who face ridicule and for whom se­cur­ing main­stream jobs where their trans-sta­tus is ac­cepted is a huge deal. The com­pany has taken the ini­tia­tive as part of its CSR en­gage­ment. The ac­cep­tance has al­ready had a pos­i­tive im­pact. “Look­ing male and iden­ti­fy­ing as male... a lot of psy­cho­log­i­cal weight has lifted,” said Tr­is­han, 35.

Iwas afraid to use the men’s wash­room when I worked as sales ex­ec­u­tive for a month. I faced jibes, sex­ual ha­rass­ment and had to opt for the women’s loo,” re­called Niv Hal­dar, 25. “But the women were also hos­tile. I had to quit.”

Rahul, 38, said it was great to fi­nally be re­ferred to by the cor­rect pro­noun: “At the train­ing, we are re­ferred to as ‘he’. It feels great.” He ear­lier worked as a phys­io­ther­a­pist. “But the pa­tient’s fam­ily po­litely asked me to dis­con­tinue. They were trans­pho­bic.”

San­jiban Sarkar, the pharma com­pany’s tech­ni­cal head and the per­son spear­head­ing the train­ing, be­lieves it is key that the group of 13 is trained to go out to the world with con­fi­dence and req­ui­site sales skills. They all have the re­quired ed­u­ca­tion for the front-end job, Sarkar said.

The sub­jects cov­ered at the train­ing are per­son­al­ity de­vel­op­ment, a sum­mary of med­i­cal sciences like anatomy, phys­i­ol­ogy, ba­sic phar­ma­col­ogy, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal tech­nol­ogy and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket­ing man­age­ment. A strin­gent eval­u­a­tion process is also part of the three-month school­ing, at the end of which the trainees must ap­pear be­fore prospec­tive em­ploy­ers for writ­ten tests and in­ter­views.

The trainees are also be­ing trained to make peo­ple feel com­fort­able. “We’re ask­ing them to be them­selves when they face stereo­types and not hide their sta­tus, if asked. Just be­ing your­self is enough to chal­lenge the stereo­type,” said Pod­dar.

Full re­port on

A group of trans-per­sons be­ing trained in Kolkata to be­come MRs

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