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Empowerment of Transgender community in India

Synopsis: The introduction of 13 members of the Empowerment of Transgender community into the Chhattisgarh police is an encouraging step.

Introduction 

13 members of the transgender community selected as constables under the Chhattisgarh police.

This move is truly historic and exciting for this community.  The Tamil Nadu police also welcomed a few transgender earlier. Their entry into the law and order system would ensure the empowerment of the transgender community.

  • Their community had no legal recognition till the Supreme Court judgment in NALSA vs. Union of India (2014). It ruled that transgender persons have the right to decide their self-identified gender.
  • This move may help in changing the opinion of people.
Steps taken for Empowerment of Transgender community

Post the 2014 Supreme Court judgment, the Chhattisgarh government created the Third Gender Welfare Board. It takes various welfare measures in favor of trans people.

  • Firstly, all departments were asked to include the third gender as an option in official documents that need mention of gender or sex of a person.
  • Secondly, district-level committees were established to recognize members of the transgender community. It will help in the implementation of welfare schemes for their benefit.
  • Thirdly, sensitisation workshops were held at State and district levels by the police department and police officers. 
  • Fourthly, training capsules were prepared for police training institutes with the help of transgender members of the Welfare Board.
  • Fifthly, the police permitted the use of their sports ground for practice and also helped the trans-genders in preparing for the written examination. It was the hard work of the transgender people which ensured their success and marked their presence in the department.

Various institutional developments for the empowerment of transgender Community

The recently passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 is used for issuing a certificate of transgender identity. 

  • Firstly, it has the essence of international conventions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, and the Yogyakarta Principles, 2006.
  • Secondly, the Act recognizes the legal right to have a self-perceived gender identity. It is in accordance with the principle of the Psychological Test instead of the Biological Test. In employing people, any discrimination against the transgender is against the law. 
  • Thirdly, the Kerala High Court allowed a petition by a transwoman seeking admission into the National Cadet Corps based on her self-claimed gender identity. The court noted that the NCC Act cannot prevent the operation of the Transgender Persons Act. 
The way forward
  • It requires more effort to bring about changes in the view of people towards this marginalized community. Implementation of the law must be in letter and spirit to fulfill its objective.
  • Society needs to remove its biases and accept transgender people as equal human beings with humility.

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