Andhra Pradesh government has decided to provide many facilities to transgender people. Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu had promised in his election campaign about such sops for the transgender community. The Government asked the Andhra Pradesh hijra board to look after the welfare of the transgender community in the state.
They will be provided with the opportunity to open their own business with the bank loan. Facility of Ration, Schools and jobs will be among other services provided by the government.The Andhra Pradesh cabinet has passed the transgender social welfare policy, of which there is an allowance of Rs 1500 per month for the adults.
And, toilet facilities for the transgender community in the mall and cinema halls will be provided. This is the biggest initiative by the government to boost the morale of the transgender community. Andhra Pradesh becomes the third state in the country to implement pension scheme for the transgender community. Kerala and Odisha are the other two states who have social welfare schemes for the community. It is a progressive step which shows the sensibility of the government to treat all human being equal and fair.
Step In the Right Direction
In Andhra Pradesh, there are estimated to be more than 26000 transgender people. The other states should learn from these three states about the rights of people. There is still a social stigma, discrimination and lack of opportunities for the community. They are not given proper benefits and rights as awarded to other citizens of the country. It makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse, mental trauma and depression.
The only way to make it a p\roper and fair system is to provide equal opportunity to them where they can excel. in India where public sensitivity is very low regarding the transgender community and social discrimination is very high. The government has kept the bill online for public review and opinion. The information and broadcasting minister has said that they are looking for the public opinion to fine tune the social welfare policy. The government will also finance their health care bills under the arogyasari scheme.
In April 2014, the supreme court recognised the third gender legally while in the same year, there was official counting done of the community. the total population of the third gender in India is 4.9 lakh according to official census, but the actual number is much bigger according to transgender activists and social welfare organisations. Uttar Pradesh has the most number of transgender population Andhra Pradesh has the second most population of third gender community.
It is worth noting that large part of the population resides in rural households. The official consensus, the supreme court verdict, the willingness and policies of the state government in the right step towards creating a society which follows the right to humanity. It’s high time other states governments took notice of and acted in the right direction. There is need to create social awareness about the community so that people realize their plight and behave in a more humane way.