Sexual minorities still face social stigma in undivided DK: activists

Sexual minorities still face social stigma in undivided DK: activists

The undivided Dakshina Kannada may be the land of intelligentsia. But there is zero progress in terms of betterment of sexual minorities.

Many continue to suffer due to social stigma attached to it, said the activists spearheading the cause of the community in the state.

Addressing a gathering during the annual general body meeting of Navasahaja Samudaya Sanghatane, an association of sexual minorities, in association with District Legal Services Authority, at Town Hall here, Chandini, a poet and transgender leader said, “While it’s the second such meeting in the coastal region after Mulki few years ago, not many have turned up for the same. Though the previous meeting was organised in a small room, around 200 community members had turned up. Now, except for migrants, transgenders hailing from the city have stayed away.”

Chandini, previously known as Mallikarjun Swamy, blamed it on lacunae in the system that prevents people from mingling with the society. The situation is such that even the parents disown their wards the moment they learn about their children’s liking towards cross dressing.

Though the Supreme Court ruled in favour of education for third gender, several state governments are yet to implement it. The universities have been reserving 1% seats for transgenders, but the response is nill, she said. Sandhya explained her travails in finding a rented accommodation as it has become increasingly difficult in the city. Similar is the plight of Kajal from Udupi who wants to pursue education, if opportunity comes her way. Mahesh Patil, an activist from Bengaluru, felt the situation will not improve until and unless the community members became aware of law.

Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment B Ramanath Rai supported the demand of sexual minorities seeking a hike in monthly pension under Maitri scheme.

Senior Civil Judge Mallanagowda said, “Unlike earlier days, sexual minorities are being recognised by the government and are also being helped with various schemes and programmes.”

Women and Child Development Department development officer Chandrika Nayak said, “The situation has improved for better, with the transgenders knocking on the doors of the department, rather boldly, seeking their due benefits.”