Sangama, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) working with sexuality minorities, has welcomed the decision of the State Government to include transgenders in the Backward Classes list.

Office-bearers of the association, who addressed reporters here on Thursday, thanked the State Government for its “progressive decision” on sexuality minorities.

“The Government has taken some historic steps to uplift the neglected community. It has also decided to provide pension facilities for transgenders aged above 40 and promised to provide them housing and BPL cards. Sangama welcomes these decisions,” said Sangama director Vijayakumar Kanagesan.

Karnataka is the first State to recognise all categories, including jogappas, hijras, FTMs (female to male), MTFs (male to female), kothis and mangalamukhis, he added.

Order criticised

The Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society (KSAPS) has recently given orders to NGOs working with transgender communities to provide a list of all details of hijras. However, Dr. Kanagesan was critical of the order as not all hijras are willing to make their identities public.

Doctors' help

Sangama requested the State Government to set up a proper assessment system to certify transgenders in the State. Psychiatrists aware of issues concerned with the community such as those from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), government medical colleges and district mental health programmes should be involved in this process, it said.

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