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|Transgender people are people who experience a mismatch between their gender expression and their assigned sex. People who belong to the transgender community face several problems in their day to day life. They are neglected by the society and they do not get employment.|
However, Odisha becomes the first Indian state to give social welfare benefits to the transgender people such as pension, housing and food grains.
Niten Chandra, principal secretary of Odisha's Department of Social Security said the move to give the transgender community the same benefits as those living below the poverty line . It is aimed at improving their overall social and economic status.
"Most transgender people are in a very bad condition because of social exclusion. For example, they very often do not get employment easily", Chandra told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
THE SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT:
In a landmark judgement in April,2014 Supreme Court had recognised transgender as a legal third gender and called on the government to ensure their equal treatment.
The apex court had recognised them as marginalised group and directed government authorities to implement policies and schemes to improve their socio-economic status.
All identity documents must recognise the third gender and certain number of public sector jobs, seats in schools and colleges must be allocated to third-gender applicants.
BENEFITS TO TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY :
° Members of the transgender community will be given Below Poverty Line cards that will allow them to access benefits under various government welfare programmes.
° Henceforth they will get benefits such as free housing pension loans to start up their own business and 100 days of paid work annually.
° They would also be entitled 5kg of food grains every month under National Food Security Act.
Transgender rights groups welcomed Odisha's new policy and called for its effective implimentation.
Meera Parida, Chairperson of All Odisha Third Gender Welfare Trust said, "We are thankful to the government. This is a welcome step. At least now the government has started recognising our problems".
"However, we will benefit only when such a decision is implemented properly and does not remain just on pen and paper".
~ Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation