Government affidavit on benefits to transgender

Division Bench of Kerala High Court comprising of Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A.M. Shaffique, while considering a petition filed by High Court lawyer Basil Attipety, seeking a directive to the State government to grant Rs.10,000 as allowance to every transgender in the State a month and direct the Social Justice and Empowerment Department to provide free education, food, shelter, clothing, and monetary allowance to them, directed the State government to file an affidavit in response to a public interest petition seeking a directive to provide all benefits and privileges to transgender in the State as directed by the Supreme Court.

Petitioner further contented that, even though Tamil Nadu and New Delhi had decided to implement the directions which includes free housing program, free admission in government colleges with full scholarship for higher studies and alternative sources of livelihood, Kerala had not initiated any steps in this regard. However, the government pleader submitted that the enumeration of transgender in the state was on.

Transgenders should have right to informed choices

Ipsita Mishra

The transgender are being discriminated in every stage of life. They are disregarded in our Indian society and hence deprived of their rights. They have their constitutional rights and they need to realize their voice against any form of injustice.  The Supreme Court has asked the government to recognize them as third sex or giving them choice of being identified as male or female. Every person should be given a right to live with dignity and equality and so should the transgenders. The transgender with gender issues should be allowed to make informed choices. The transgenders need to be categorized as third category so that they can apply for election cards, driving license, getting medical treatment, educational facilities etc. Article 14 provides equality for all and Article 16 provides equal opportunities for all. Considering transgender a legal non-entity was violative of Articles 14, 15, and 16.Judicial notice should be taken of the transgender category and benefits should be extended to economically and social weaker sections of the society taking into account Article 15 and Article 21 of the Constitution. Focusing on sexual identification is a negation of article 15.Article 21 states about right to live with dignity and thus the transgender should have a right to choice of sexual identity. The transgender might face practical difficulties in facing public convenience in accordance if he has to choose if he is a female.

They also have a problem when they are categorized as others though it is a developing concept that their existence has to be recognized. ‘Others’ is a vague term and it does not convey the individuality of a person. Moreover it symbolizes as ‘unwanted’. When other countries can recognize their identity, why does Indian government have to have this hypocrisy in its government? Transgender have always been the laughing stock of society. They are abandoned by society, shunned by their own families, harassed and beaten by the police and ignored by the government.

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