Coronavirus | In Ganjam’s quarantine centres, no separate provision for the transgender community

Tough stay: The centre in Ganjam district where the transgender was quarantined. The image has been blurred so as to not reveal the identity of the patient.

Tough stay: The centre in Ganjam district where the transgender was quarantined. The image has been blurred so as to not reveal the identity of the patient.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Due to the lack of separate arrangements for transgender persons at a quarantine centre, Prasant*, an 18-year-old transgender person, had to spend a 14-day quarantine period, till April 29, with a group of men.

Prasant is a resident of Mathura panchayat in Khallikote block of Ganjam district. Violating lockdown restrictions, Prasant had visited Purushottampur in the second week of April to take part in rituals related to the Danda Jatra festival. When Prasant returned home, the sarpanch of the area, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, directed the teenager to remain in institutional quarantine at the Mathura panchayat.

Upon admission, Prasant was shocked to find there was no separate provision for the transgender community. Although Prasant contacted the sarpanch, no other solution emerged.

During their survey of preparedness of 120 quarantine centres in 18 panchayats of Ganjam district, activists of Youth for Social Development (YSD) met Prasant, who was sharing a single room with four men. According to YSD director Bibhu Prasad Sahu, Prasant’s repeated appeals for a separate room were not heeded.

YSD’s survey found separate arrangements had been made for men and women in all 120 quarantine centres surveyed.

However, only 10 out of 18 panchayats had made separate provisions for pregnant women, only two had made separate provisions for young children, and only four panchayats had separate provisions for people with special needs. None of the panchayats had any facilities for the transgender community.

YSD urged authorities to take into account the special status of the transgender community. Mr. Sahu said, many men displayed a derogatory attitude towards the transgender community.

(*Name changed to protect identity)

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 2:16:30 PM |

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