Chennai

Transpersons protest against bill cleared by Lok Sabha

Demanding fairness: Welfare organisations protesting against the Transgender (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 in Chennai on Friday.

Demanding fairness: Welfare organisations protesting against the Transgender (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 in Chennai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Members of various Transpersons organisations gathered in the city on Friday to protest against the Transgender Bill (Protection of Rights) Bill 2018 passed recently by the Lok Sabha. Several transpersons from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry raised slogans against the bill at a protest meeting held near the Government Guest House and sought amendments to the bill. G. Sankari, founder of Nirangal, said this bill does not provide any reservation to the marginalised community. It has not included rights of education and employment and is in violation of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) vs Government of India judgment, 2014.

“It fails to protect our right for self-identification and plans to set up district screening committees. Many of our fundamental rights have been violated,” she said.

Representatives from various organisations also complained that begging has been criminalised in the bill and this would only further destroy the livelihood of the transpersons. Instead, they must be provided with an alternate source of income and better education facilities. The bill does not address the right to medical facilities, said Sudha, a member of the Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board.

Transpersons also complained that the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s recommendations on recognising marital rights were not addressed in the bill. Subiksha, joint secretary of South Indian Transgender Federation said the bill seeks to rehabilitate transpersons either in government care centres or be with family. It does not recognise the guru-chela system in the community, which is the only support system for transpersons abandoned by their families.

They demanded that the bill be revised and imbibe the NALSA judgment that has assured transpersons’ fundamental rights and reservations in education and employment. The bill must be implemented only after seeking transpersons’ views, they added. Members also plan to submit their petition to the State.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 4:30:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/transpersons-protest-against-bill-cleared-by-lok-sabha/article25803501.ece

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