Rightly as they deserve, members of the transgender community in Odisha will very soon avail social welfare benefits. Interestingly, Odisha is the first state in the country to provide such amenities that will touch the lives of transgenders in a positive way. Aiming to improve the overall condition of this section of people, it is indeed is a bright decision on the part of the state.Transgenders in Odisha will soon be given Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards that will allow them to access benefits under various government welfare programmes. The beneficiaries will enjoy free housing, 100 days of paid work annually, pensions and loans to start their own businesses. In addition to it, they will also be entitled to 5 kg of food grains every month under India’s National Food Security Act.
The social exclusion, ostracism and abuses faced by this community almost each day do not let them get employed smoothly. As quoted by Niten Chandra, principal secretary of Odisha’s department of social security, he commented that this strong move to give these members the same benefits as others living below the poverty line has been strictly aimed at enhancing their lives in a better way.
Back in April, the government had a consultation with transgender people who had raised their problems and issues. It was the same incident which acted as a catalyst to take the above initiatives. Since the Supreme Court has recognized transgender as a legal third gender, there has been a constant call to ensure their equal treatment while improving the socio-economic status.
We strongly hope that this welcome step gets executed in all the right ways so that the transgender community live a life of some relief!
News Source: Reuters
FT Image Courtesy: hindustantimes