State to set up transgender commission

 The State government has decided to establish a Transgender Commission and also provide budgetary allocation for the welfare of transgenders.

The decisions of the commission will be binding on the government. Many states have welfare boards for transgenders. Establishment of a commission will be more beneficial to improve the standards of living of the transgender community in the State, said S G Raveendra, project director, Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society.

Transgenders face stigma, discrimination and rejection by family, educational institutions, healthcare providers, the police and elected representatives. They are also subjected to violence, harassment and sexual abuse and their subjugation is in direct violation of fundamental and human rights, he said.

The decision to set up the commission was taken at a meeting chaired by Congress MP and convener of the Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS, Oscar Fernandes.
National-level consultation meetings will be held in November, following which guidelines, rules and regulations for the commission will be framed. Later, it will be placed before the State Cabinet for approval.

“The commission should be in place by next April. All aspects concerning the community will be taken into consideration and efforts will be made to have an integrated approach to improve their situation in the State,” added Raveendra.

He said consultations will be held with the departments of social welfare, law, food and civil supplies, women and child development, following which a detailed report will be submitted to the Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS. The report will be discussed in the Rajya Sabha which would help in the formation of the commission in Karnataka.

A committee will also be formed under the chairmanship of the Health and Family Welfare minister to develop the future course of activities for the formation of the commission.
A survey will be initiated to identify the transgender community in the State and to track those who have dropped out of school. They will be brought back to school, which would solve the issue of education.

The project director said that of the 20,000-odd transgenders in the State, 1,796 were associated with KSAPS.

One of the prime welfare activities to be initiated in the State is housing to transgenders wherever they wish to settle down. District-level certification committees have also been proposed to certify them as transgenders. Besides ration cards, ID cards, old-age pension, loans for self-employment, etc, they will also get reservation in jobs, Raveendra said.

Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh already have transgender welfare boards.

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