Protest against transgender and anti-trafficking bills

They were demanding the withdrawal of the transgender and anti-trafficking bills being tabled in the Rajya Sabha. (PTI File Pooto)

Over 100 transgenders gathered at Town Hall on Wednesday morning, to raise their voice against the central and state governments.

They were demanding the withdrawal of the transgender and anti-trafficking bills being tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

They also wanted the state government to implement the transgender and LGBTQ policy which provides livelihood and employment opportunities to the third gender.

They demanded that the Centre follow the lines of the NALSA Vs Union of India judgement given by the apex court in 2014. The judgement had upheld that the constitution of India gave equal status to all.

But as per the , only those who go through castration are recognised and not others. "It is not correct to discriminate. Tiruchi Siva's bill which was tabled two years back by the DMK leader should be looked into instead," said Rajesh Srinivas, Sangama and National Network of Sex workers member.

They also raised their voice against the trafficking bill where sex workers and begging is considered an offence and those caught are penalised for 10 years.

"The government should first secure the livelihoods of the transgenders before criminalising their acts at once. They should give us equal opportunity to learn skills, become independent, help us get jobs and homes. The government should help us acquire skills and give scope, before imposing rules," said Ashwini Rajan a transgender and member of Sangama.

They pointed out that most transgenders are over 50 years of age and all they have done over the years is sex work and begging. To stop suddenly will affect our livelihood. So the state government should first implement the supreme court issued LGBTQ and transgender policy and then central government should pass the anti-trafficking and transgender bill, said Saha a transgender.

They demanded that they are called for a discussion, their problems and opinions be taken before passing the bills as it will hit them directly.

According to an in-house census, there are over 3.5 lakh transgenders in India, of which over 16,000 are in Karnataka.

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Protest against transgender and anti-trafficking bills

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