Transgenders have equal rights in society: Judge

Though the Constitution guarantees equal rights to all its citizens, we have neglected the sexual minorities in India. Article 14 to 17 of Indian Constitution which speaks on equality and security of citizens is applicable to them as well, said Principal district and Sessions Judge Uma M G.

Speaking after inaugurating a legal awareness programme for sexual minorities, interaction and distribution of departmental facilities to the beneficiaries, organised by the DK District Legal Services Authority, Mangalore Bar Association, Zilla Panchayat, Women and Child Welfare Department, Mangalore Police and Navasahaja Samudaya Sangatane and Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum here, at Zilla Panchayat, she said that in a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on April 15, 2014 recognised transgenders as a third category, other than male or female, and directed the government to grant benefit of reservation to them on a par with socially and economically backward classes of citizens, removing the discrimination faced by them.

The sexual minorities have legal support and have right to decide their sex. She said that the Court has directed the governments to form welfare boards and implement the recommendations of the board within six months.

The Karnataka government has formed 11 member sub-committee and report will be submitted in July end, the District Sessions Judge said.

Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said though there are about 1,700 transgenders in Dakshina Kannada district, there are no takers for benefits under Mythri scheme under which a monthly pension of Rs 500 is paid to transgenders.

None of the transgenders have come forward to avail the benefits.

“Lack of address proof is one of the major problem that hinder them from obtaining ration cards. There is a need to solve the problem. They do not get loans.”

Dakshina Kannada SP S D Sharanappa said that financial self-sufficiency may solve most of the problems of the sexual minorities.

There is a need to sensitise the society on sexual minorities.

Financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh was disbursed among Chamundi Self-help Group, Jyothi Self-help Group, Manasa Self-help Group and Navodaya Self-help Group.

A sum of Rs 20,000 was given to 15 sexual- minority shopkeepers.

Senior Civil Judge N S Pateel, Women and Children Welfare Department Deputy Director Gatrude Veigas, Mangalore Bar Association President P Ashok Ariga, District Health Officer  Dr Shivakumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police Jagadish, Dr Kishore of District AIDS Control Unit, Social Server Akkai Padmashali, Nandana of Karnataka Sexual Minorities’  Forum, Rajesh of Navasahaja Samudaya Sangatane were present.

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