Bhubaneswar : Even as people belonging to transgender community continue to face a raw deal in the society despite government’s tall claims about their upliftment, the department of social security and empowerment of persons with disabilities (SSEPD) is gearing up to launch a new scheme—Tritiya Prakriti Surakshya Abhiyan (TPSA).
TPSA envisages identification of transgender people and their rehabilitation, scholarship for transgender children, conduct of skill development programmes and generation of employment opportunities of them. “We held a meeting a few days ago and decided to frame guidelines for successful implementation of TPSA. A survey will soon start across the state to identify transgender people before implementation of the scheme,” said a senior officer of SSEPD department.
“We also sought opinions from different quarters on draft Odisha Transgender Policy 2017 that proposes safety, security and social welfare of the transgender people,” the officer said.
According to Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, the transgender population in Odisha stood at 43,161 in rural areas and 4,632 in urban areas. “We welcome the government’s initiatives. But we are upset as many transgender people are still deprived of the schemes. We have been lodging our grievances in different forums, but to no avail,” said Pratap Sahoo, president of All Odisha Kinnar and Third Gender Mahasangha, an association of transgender community.
Last year, the state government announced that the parents of every transgender will get a financial assistance of Rs 1,000 per month. For pre-matric scholarship (Class VIII to X) the day scholar will get Rs 150 and the hostel inmates Rs 350 for 10 months in a year. Similarly, government had said the transgender students will get monthly post-matric scholarship (XI and above) of Rs 550 for day scholar and Rs 1,200 for hostel boarders for 10 months. For their skill development, the government announced Rs 15,000 per transgender trainee for 200 hours of the course.
“Many of our community members lack access to education and employment opportunities and end up into sex work or begging. This despite the landmark Supreme Court’s judgment in April 2014, recognizing transgender as a legal third gender and called on the governments to ensure their equal treatment,” said Tamanna, a transgender. A recent study conducted by Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar corroborated the plight of the transgender people in the state.
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