Promotion of mass marriages for transgenders, legal aid for rights to parental property, financial assistance for sex reassignment surgeries and law to punish those who call transgenders by offensive names are key aspects of the Madhya Pradesh government’s transgender policy that comes into force by the end of November, officials said.
“With implementation of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020, introduced by the Centre in July 2020, the social justice department of MP government will ensure societal change. Soon after election results, the policy will be brought before the cabinet,” said Prateek Hajela, principal secretary, social justice department.
Hajela said the policy has both short and long term goals.
“In the short term, we will provide them employment in government offices and will sensitize officials including police personnel and health workers about them. In the long term, we plan to give different legal rights to them,” Hajela said.
One stop centers, pension for persons of above age 55 years, shelter homes and old-age homes are some other provisions of the proposed policy, he said.
According to the policy document, for transgenders to have family, mass marriages would be organised and amendments would be made in law to allow them to adopt a child as a single parent.
“Financial assistance for sex reassignment surgeries in selected government hospitals/medical colleges will be provided to the TG community. To prevent atrocities including trafficking & those related to acceptance, helpline and rehabilitation centre will be started,” the document said.
Social justice department minister Prem Singh Patel said, “We are keen to introduce the policy and transgender welfare board to give equal rights to the members of the community.”
“Social justice department will be the nodal agency for the implementation of the policy but 17 other departments including home, law, women and child development and health department will also be part of it,” the minister said.
Transgender activist, Sanjana Singh said all government departments should ensure the implementation of the policy, “All the stakeholders had been invited to give suggestions for the policy. I am happy that the policy makers took care of every small aspect of our life. But all the departments should ensure the implementation of policy,” Singh said.
The transgender justice welfare board will monitor the overall implementation of the policy in the state.
The policy is the result of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act that came into force in December 2019.
Under sub section 2(k), the Act defines “transgender persons” as a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone Sex Reassignment Surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), person with intersex variations, genderqueer and person having such socio-cultural identities as kinner, hijra, arravani and jogta.
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