Day 50 – Q 1.Critically evaluate the recent measures taken by the government to address the vulnerabilities of the transgenders and LGBT community.
1. Critically evaluate the recent measures taken by the government to address the vulnerabilities of the transgenders and LGBT community.
ट्रांसजेंडर और एलजीबीटी समुदाय की कमजोरियों को दूर करने के लिए सरकार द्वारा उठाए गए हाल के उपायों का समालोचनात्मक मूल्यांकन करें।
The population of transgender community is officially 5 lakhs as per 2011 census and unofficially LGBT account for around 3-4 million as per a report submitted by government to the supreme court. Being identified as one of the most vulnerable community, the government has over the years taken various measures to uplift them.
Government measure to address LGBT vulnerabilities:
- The government has passed Transgender Bill 2019 to address the various issues of LGBT community with features
- Definition of transgenders to choose the gender does not match the gender assigned at birth certified by district administration.
- Prohibition against discrimination: including denial of service or unfair treatment vis a vis education, employment, healthcare, access to goods, right to movement, right to reside and so on.
- Establishment of National council for transgender persons.
- Urging the relevant governments to take welfare measures to ensure the full inclusion and participation of transgender persons in society.
- Further, the government has allowed transgenders to change their gender without sex reassignment surgery and declassified transgender as a mental illness.
- Transgender has been declared as a ‘third gender’ by several state governments.
- A Media Committee has been constituted in the Ministry of social justice and empowerment for the purpose of initiating sensitization drives in society.
- The central government has formulated an umbrella scheme which includes scholarship for education, vocational training, pension and monetary support etc., Also, Ministry of Labour and Employment has directed states to give vocational training under skill development initiative.
- MGNREGA scheme provide employment for transgenders.
- The state governments have taken various measures like
- Kerala has passed bill to provide reservation for transgender community in higher education, reservation in metro and so on.
- The state of Tamilnadu introduced Transgender welfare policy.
- Maharashtra has setup a welfare board assessing the state of LGBT and recommend measures for their development.
- The SWEEKAR scheme of Odisha government with provisions of monetary support, reservation in jobs etc.,
- Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 requires the employer to provide a hygienic work environment like separate bathing places and locker rooms for male, female and transgender employees.
- Various expert committees are formed by centre and state governments to recommend welfare measure for LGBT community.
These measures have been helping in mainstreaming transgenders and the recent supreme court ruling decriminalizing sec 377 has provided respite for LBGT community against exploitation. The welfare schemes have provided wide range opportunities in education and employment with support from both centre and several state governments.
However, the measure taken by the government has been inadequate and half- hearted.
- The transgender bill has issues like the mandatory certification by district administration violating privacy and the use of ‘Shall’ making it voluntary on the part of government to take welfare measures.
- The reservation in education and employment has been sidelined by the central government.
- The government is silent in spite of several fundamental rights of LGBT is being violated like discrimination in provisions on rape of a transgender, violation of right to privacy in getting gender identity etc.,
- The intersex group has been neglected by the government which just consider LGBT which is different from intersex group.
- Same-sex marriages are still not legally recognized in India.
This can be derived from the ground reality where in transgender community still faces discrimination and social exclusion. Study by NHRC revealed that 98% of transgenders are separated from their family, 60% never attended schools and 92% are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activity in the country with even qualified ones refused jobs.
Further, around 57 percent are keen on getting sex-alignment surgery but don’t have money for it showing the lack of government support to the community in taking their life choices.
Furthermore, 18 percent of them are physically abused, 62 percent are verbally abused in school. 15 percent are harassed by students as well as teachers which depicts the failure of government in mainstreaming LGBT community as a normal section in the society including schools.
Thus, several measures have to be taken like dedicated research studies to design appropriate programs/schemes for LGBT, mass-media awareness campaigns, legalizing same-sex marriage, medical facility for transgender, reservation in employment and education and so on. As a progressive nation, it is vital for India to take measures alleviating the stigma associated with LGBT and utilize their potential in national development upholding their fundamental rights.