Transgenders seek better facilities

April 16, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:48 am IST - PUDUCHERRY:

Members of Progressive Writers and Artists Association and Sahodaran hold a demonstration in front of the Head Post Office in Puducherry on Wednesday.— Photo: T. Singaravelou

Members of Progressive Writers and Artists Association and Sahodaran hold a demonstration in front of the Head Post Office in Puducherry on Wednesday.— Photo: T. Singaravelou

Revathy (32), a transgender underwent an operation for sex reassignment in the hands of a senior transgender — what they call a thayamma operation. She termed her experience as excruciating one.

Ms. Revathy said, “Anyone who is born a transgender will wish to undergo operation for sex reassignment between the age of 14-15 from male to female gender. Such operations were being done only at hospitals in Bangalore and Pune. I did not have adequate money for the operation. Hence I had to undergo the operation at the hands of a thayamma in Villupuram.”

Sheethal Nayak, president of Sahodaran Community Oriented Health Development Society said the operation would cost Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 75,000 in a private hospital. In Tamil Nadu, the Government General Hospital at Chennai conducts the sex reassignment operation free of cost as also the Christian Medical College, Vellore through non-governmental organisations.

“Here in Puducherry, no doctor comes forward to do this either in Government or private hospital. Puducherry government should make arrangements for such operations to be done free of cost in the Government General Hospital and Jipmer,” said Ms. Sheethal while adding that the government should enable transgenders to obtain a letter of recognition from the hospital where the sex reassignment operation was done so as to execute name change in any other certificates.

S. Ramachandran, State Treasurer of Progressive Writers and Artists Association said other States such as Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have taken various welfare initiatives for the transgender community but Puducherry government is yet to initiate a step to indicate them as a third gender following a direction of Supreme Court last year.

A demonstration was conducted on Wednesday in front of the Head Post Office to draw the attention of Puducherry government to the livelihood issues of transgenders in Puducherry.

Putting forth several demands to the government, the protesters said a survey should be conducted to ascertain the numbers of transgenders in Puducherry. Transgenders also demanded that the identification cards and ration cards be given to them.

Ms. Sheethal said the government should allot quarters at housing units for safe living, reserve government jobs for transgenders and ensure free education.

They sought creation of a separate board for transgenders for initiating series of welfare measures.

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