West Bengal’s trans community welcomes Bangladesh move

Bangladesh has decided to give tax incentives to its companies employing people from the community.

The transgender community in West Bengal has welcomed Bangladesh’s decision to give tax incentives to its companies employing people from the community, saying India too should adopt similar measures.

“This is an absolutely commendable step, taken in the face of the challenges posed by religious fundamentalists. As co-convener of SAYAN (South Asian Young Queer Activists’ Network), I would like to congratulate both, the Bangladesh government and our trans co-fighters in that country, for this historic step,” Ranjita Sinha, director of the Association of Transgender/Hijra in Bengal, told The Hindu.

“This will surely pave way for inclusion of trans citizens in the mainstream. Most importantly, this move will help in creating livelihood options for them, something the transgender community in West Bengal and in India is still struggling for,” Ms. Sinha said.

Calling for similar measures in India, she said that unless members of the transgender community were included in decision-making bodies, particularly in government bodies that dealt with the community, all the welfare measures announced for them over the years would remain on paper.

“It is not as if nothing is being done in India. Last year, the Centre started the Garima Greh scheme, under which shelters are being set up across the country for those who have been forced to leave homes or abandoned by their families. But unless you include members of the community in decision-making bodies and unless you empower them politically, such welfare schemes are likely to remain on paper,” Ms. Sinha said.

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