Andhra provides benefits for transgender uplift

Andhra provides benefits for transgender uplift

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Saturday approved a policy for the uplift of the transgender community to  offer them pensions, ration cards, housing sites and financial assistance to open businesses.

The cabinet has decided to keep the draft policy online, encouraging the general public to make suggestions.

Once the policy comes into effect, the 26,000-strong transgender community in the state will be benefitted.

A policy for transgenders was mooted in September this year, when Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced a series of sops, including pensions.

As per the policy, the government will provide an amount of Rs 1,500  each month to every transgender individual above the age of 18 as social security pension.

According to Information and Public Relations Minister Kalwa Srinivasulu, who briefed the cabinet decisions to the media in Amaravati, the government will construct special toilets in public places  like malls and cinema halls for transgenders.

Transgenders would be provided ration cards, housing sites  and scholarships for education, as well as subsidised bus passes for transgender students.

"The government  will also facilitate the grant of loans by banks to help them start their own small businesses. It will also take care of their health by providing subsidised healthcare through Arogyasri scheme," the minister said.

In April this year, the state government announced the Andhra Pradesh Hijra Welfare Board in Tirupati, to look into the welfare of the transgender community and prevent them from being subjected to sexual, mental and physical harassment, besides social neglect and ostracisation from society.

Andhra Pradesh is the third state in the country to provide pensions for transgenders after Kerala and Odisha.

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