K’taka transgender community celebrates cabinet approval of policy to safeguard their rights
Bengaluru, Oct 27: Thursday was a big day for the transgender community of Karnataka.
The state cabinet cleared the Karnataka Policy for Transgenders, 2017, aimed at bringing the community into the mainstream of society and providing its members with a secured life.
While welcoming the news, members of the community said it was long overdue. They added that their long struggle to address their issues by the state government has been finally recognised.
The policy had been drafted in compliance with a Supreme Court order, law and parliamentary affairs minister TB Jayachandra told reporters in Bengaluru after a cabinet meeting.
"They face insecurity, discrimination, insults, anxiety and suicidal tendencies, to name a few problems. Therefore, this policy aims at bringing them into the mainstream of society and provide them with a secured life," he said.
The different categories of transgenders mentioned in the policy include "jogappa, hijra, female to male, male to female, inter-sex, kothis, jogtas, shivashakti and aravanis".
The policy aims to create awareness about the transgender community in all the educational institutions of the state, reach out to the family members through anganwadi workers to sensitise them about trans-children, bring into place a monitoring committee or cell at the educational institutions to address the issues of discrimination, sexual abuse and violence against transgenders.
It also moots defining the indicators for a friendly policy, which goes beyond non-discrimination, and to include the transgender community in the 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan', Right to Education and similar efforts to promote literacy.
Jayachandra, quoting from the document, said, "All levels of the formal education system should have reservations for transgender students."
"Our society needs to be educated that transgenders do exist and we are as equal as any man or woman. Our community lacks formal education and most of our members are financially weak. The government needs to look into all these issues," said a trans man, who works in a factory near Bengaluru.