ODISHA - First State To Give Welfare Benefits To Transgender

Have you ever seen a group of hijras boarding the train? Have you imagined why they are forced to beg? We think they are a bunch of lazy people but here is the truth -unavailability of education for this group has led to their unemployment. Their lack of qualification forces them into sex work and petty jobs. Most of them are victims of domestic,verbal,physical and sexual abuse.
The government of India declared transgender as a legal gender in April 2014. It also announced that they should have equal rights.

Photo credits - Mahesh BalaSubramanian (Pinterest)

Odisha government has been the first to take positive steps towards improvement of socioeconomic status of transgender group.

"The state government has decided to accord BPL status to transgender persons and they will get all benefits availed by the poor"-said Usha Devi;Woman and Child development minister.

Identity documents like Adhaar cards,voter cards,passports should be given to recognize them.Education is the key to employment. So there ought to be seats in schools and colleges allocated for third gender applicants.

"The government had a consultation with transgender people in April, and they had raised their problems and issues. On that basis, we are now taking many decisions to help them - giving them the Below Poverty Line status is one of them." Niten chandra -principal secretary of Odisha's department of social security reported.

This BPL card will give them free access to various beneficiary schemes like
1) Free housing
 2)Hundred days of paid work annually
 3)Loans to start up their own business
 4)Five kilograms of grain monthly under the National food security act.
But whether or not this schemes will be boon to the transgenders is yet to be seen .

"We are thankful to the government. This is a welcome step. At least now the government has started recognising our problems," said Meera Parida, chairperson of All Odisha Third Gender Welfare Trust.

 "However, we will benefit only when such a decision is implemented properly and does not remain just on pen and paper."

Let us hope this initiative taken by the Odisha government becomes effective. Being the first state in India to give benefits to the third gender Odisha stands out to be one of the most coolest state. Let all odias take pride.

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