The Government of Karnataka launched the Transgender Policy in October last year to uplift the community and bring it into the mainstream but now seems to turn a blind eye, letting down the Trans community in the state
Bangalore, March 13, 2018: Despite the State Government launching a policy for the upliftment of transgender community by proposing a slew of measures, the policy seems to be heading nowhere since no money has been allotted for its implementation in the state budget.
The Karnataka State Transgender Policy, 2017 was launched by the Government on similar lines with the Supreme Court’s direction in 2014 which mandated all the states to come up with a policy to protect the third gender.
Specific measures were announced namely scholarship for Tran’s children, free Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) for transgender which would include counselling, hormone therapy done under appropriate medical supervision of approved doctors and remedial centers to integrate them with the society.
Apart from medical help, self-employment grants, vocational training and creation of database, were to be included.
However, this year’s Karnataka Budget has not seen any allotment of money for the Transgender community all over Karnataka.
Anuradha, trans-activist with Sangama, stated that they haven’t received any benefit from any Policy whatsoever. They don’t get employment benefits, health insurance, education etc. “If ever I go into any Government organization, they ask me if I am a sex worker. Getting loan for education of our children and employment is a herculean task. Whatever money they have allotted for us even in the past, we never gotten to reap the benefits of it,” Anuradha said.
“The government should institute a committee that can implement and regulate whatever policy government introduces in and give recommendations in favor of Transgender. They say they will give houses, education, employment support but they do nothing,” she added.
States like Maharashtra and Kerala have been putting efforts to integrate the transgender community in the society. Kochi Metro Rail Corporation hires Transgender as a way to provide them employment. Earlier this year, Maharashtra Government formed Transgender Welfare Board (TWB) making a provision of Rs 5 crore for the welfare of the community.
Saumya, co-founder of Payna, a NGO for betterment of sexual minorities, said, “Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagraPalike (BBMP) had allotted Rs 2 crore in its 2016-2017 budget for implementation of welfare schemes, but everything is on paper till this day; vocational training centers, scholarships, free SRS as proposed in the policy are farfetched.”
She expressed that after setting up several meetings with the government officials, they have failed to provide any substantial support. She added, “It is very difficult to get loans for children’s education. BBMP in its 205-2016 budget had announced to give loan assistance to transgender based on skill based occupation, but it’s been two years that we have received nothing.”
The Policy suggests trans-community to be included in Sarva Siksha Abiyan and Right to Education (RTE) to promote literacy and to set up committees in all educational institutions to address discrimination, sexual abuse and violence.
“We have been holding meetings with the transgender groups all over Karnataka for consultation and give recommendations to the officials as to how to proceed with the implementation of the policy,” she added.