Kerala opens its first care-home for transgenders

Picture used for representation. Photo credit: AFP

The long-pending demand of the transgender community to get a safe shelter has finally become a reality in Kerala as authorities have opened a short-stay home exclusively for them.

The Kerala Social Justice Department has opened the state's first-of-its-kind short stay facility at Kunnukuzhy ward, located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, with the support of 'Queerythm', a community-based outfit (CBO).

"Thanal", the transgender care home, is meant for transmen, authorities said.

The short-stay facility would provide safe accommodation for transgender persons, undergoing sex-change surgeries, or other emergency situations, state Social Justice minister K K Shylaja has said.

In a recent Facebook post, she said it was the state's first short stay home for the marginalised group.

"The management of the care-home is entrusted with the Queerythm', CBO. They (transgenders) are offered free facilities like food, counselling, medical and legal aid, etc. in this care home," she said.

Adequate staff have also been appointed for the smooth functioning of the short-stay home.

All the employees were transgenders and thus the care-home project had also helped provide employment to the marginalised community, the minister added in the FB post.

Bharat, a TG member, and vice-president of'Queerythm', said two inmates have already started staying at the care home, where a manager and 6 employees are appointed for its management.

"Both the inmates have come here in search of a job and approached us for a safe stay. The facility can accommodate 25 persons...they can stay here for 3 months...if necessary, they can extend the period up to 6 months and not more than that," the transman told PTI.

Though Kerala was the first state to unveil a "Transgender Policy" to end social stigma towards them, the TG persons used to complain that they were neither welcomed in hostels nor accepted as paying guests.

Many of them were forced to spend nights at bus stands and railway stations due to the absence of a safe abode.

The recent death of a transwoman near a bus stand in Kozhikode district under mysterious circumstances had evoked widespread concerns about their safety. 

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