A few months after Sanjana Singh, a transwoman, joined the state government as the personal secretary of the director of the department of social justice and disabled welfare, the state will roll out a welfare policy for its transgender residents in the next two months.
Of the different issues which the recently appointed Congress-led government will address, few of them inculcate a monthly allowance to parents of intersex children, provisions for job reservations for transgender persons in the state government and separate public toilets, said the minister for social justice Lakhan Ghanghoria.
The minister cited that the policy will have a monthly allowance that will be a reward to parents for bringing up their third gender children and impart education to them.
In addition to this, Ghanghoria further added that the transgender equality policy will prove a milestone and will be introduced soon. Along with the social justice department, other departments like health and education will play their role to eradicate gender discrimination.
A department official who is well versed with the development confirmed, “We will include health department in the policy so that families could be identified just after the birth of a baby and a proper counseling could take place on time.”
It is to be noted that the state, which gave the country its first transgender legislator in 2000 — Shabnam ‘mausi’ from Sohagpur — does not have a transgender welfare board. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that such a board should be set up in each state, in order to look after the specific welfare schemes and entitlements for transgender persons.
The amount of allowance has not been decided upon as of now but equality will be maintained and it will be given in equal terms as it is given to other beneficiaries of the social justice department, said the officer.
Currently, the social justice department is providing Rs 600 per month to specially-abled people and widows as a destitute pension. The Congress government promised to increase it to Rs 1,000.
Krishna Gopal Tiwari, director of Social justice and disabled welfare also talked about how they are trying to sensitize the society into accepting them with a free mind. He states how he wants others, like Sanjana Singh, to come forward without hiding their identities and join other departments.
Singh also put light on how the Supreme Court has identified them as the third gender in 2014 but nothing happened except introducing boards for them. The transgender policy will bring a major change in society.
However, activist Kokila Bhattacharya holds the opinion that any policy must be introduced or made in accordance with the consultation of various members of the community.
(A part of the text that includes official statements has been taken from TOI)
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