Eunuchs have a reason to smile in Bihar

Eunuchs have a reason to smile in Bihar

Removing stigma


The social stigma attached with the kinnars (as eunuchs are known) prevents one from even giving a mere thought to such move.

But, ostracised socially since ages, the thousands of eunuchs in Bihar may have reasons to smile (if not clap and dance), if the Bihar government implements the ambitious rehabilitation plan it has conceived and conceptualised for the “third gender.”

The Nitish regime in Bihar has issued an advertisement inviting applications from qualified non-governmental organisations to conduct a survey of eunuchs. “The primary aim is to bring the third gender into the mainstream. The survey is the first step towards the implementation of their rehabilitation plan,” said Director of Social Welfare Masood Hasan.

Identification process

These eunuchs will be initially identified through the survey and then imparted vocational training to facilitate their socio-economic rehabilitation.

Those covered under the scheme will be trained as per their aptitude and interest for employment as cooks, drivers and security guards in residential complexes. This is not the first time that the government has decided to bring eunuchs into the mainstream.

Earlier, it had allowed the third gender to become tax collectors. The cash-strapped Patna Municipal Corporation, after having exhausted all the means to shore up its revenues, had roped in eunuchs and used to send their troupes of singers and dancers to collect holding tax from the habitual defaulters.

The “reputation” and “persuasive skills” of the eunuchs bore fruit on the very first day of the experiment with the civic body earning Rs 1.5 lakh.

But following massive protest from various sections, the move died a natural death.
This time too, the government is apprehensive but still not giving up.

“The scheme will be given proper shape once the survey is done. If things work out as per our plan, then monetary allocation will be done in this financial year itself,” said a senior official, involved with preparing the proposal.

Hurdle

The only hurdle, the government feels, is the social stigma attached to eunuchs. The public awareness drive in this case is unlikely to cut much ice. “We have initiated the effort. Hope it bears fruit,” said Social Welfare Minister Damodar Raut.

DH News Service

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