Officials working on draft of the policy which will come into force before year-end.


New Delhi: The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government will soon be launching several schemes for the upliftment of the transgender community in the state. Several state government officials told The Sunday Guardian that they are still working on the draft of the policy along with other stakeholders and it will come into force before the year-end.

Prateek Hajela, principal secretary, social justice department, Madhya Pradesh, said: “The idea is that there is an Act which has already been passed in Parliament and it says that there should be no discrimination against transgenders and they should be streamlined into society in the same manner as non-transgender people. That will mean, stay, travel, education, employment; so that is what the Act is. In July-August, the rules have already been framed by the government and we have also received the same. So, once a law is passed, it has to be implemented and we have to put in some mechanism to ensure that. We have done a lot of brain-storming and we have instituted the Atal Bihari Institute of Good Governance in Bhopal. They have also undertaken discussions with stakeholders, including transgenders and their associations. Based on the feedback, they will be drafting the policy soon and after that, we will work on it and finalise it. We will be able to enforce it before this year ends.”

According to reports, promotion of mass marriages for transgenders, legal help for rights to parental property, financial assistance for sex reassignment surgeries, and law to punish those who address transgenders in derogatory terms, are some of the key initiatives that will be imposed by the end of November.

Hajela said: “I not being a transgender, I am able to stay at my home. It’s not easy for transgenders. There is a lot of discrimination against them. They have to struggle a lot for basic necessities. The key aspects will be to issuing them identity cards, promoting sensitivity in the public towards them, among others. We will also be focusing on short-term measures with which I can actually ensure that they are able to get what they deserve. We want to focus on their immediate needs first.”

The principal secretary also told The Sunday Guardian that the main objective will be to implement the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 properly, and uplift the community.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has found that about 99% of transgender people have experienced social rejection on multiple occasions. However, there has been some progress in the country in the last couple of years.

In 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalized same-sex relationships and struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In 2014, in a landmark judgment, the apex court recognised the rights of transgenders and their right to decide their gender identity. Under the ruling, transgender people were to be treated as a “third gender”.