In a first, the Assam government officially invited members of the transgender community on Sunday, 15th August, to mark the completion of 74 years of the country's freedom.
In the central function held at Guwahati, around 20-25 inmates of a shelter home for transgender people called 'Tritiyo Nivas' were official invitees at the Independence Day programme, Swati Bidhan Baruah, associate vice-chairperson of Transgender Welfare Board of Assam said, NDTV reported.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hoisted the National Flag, which was held with a limited audience keeping in view the COVID-19 protocols.
"Transgender people never used to be part of such kind of events as they never made it to the invitees' list. So it is a big step," Swati said, as quoted by NDTV.
Baruah added that the community has been looking forward to the day when they would actively participate in these celebrations and perform cultural items.
The Chief Minister also paid a visit to the residence of nurse Daizy Das, working at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), and felicitated her for a record of giving the highest vaccine shots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of her colleagues, Garima Das and Jonaki Daimary, were also rewarded for their role in the COVID-19 vaccination.
As per the 2011 Census, Assam has a transgender population of more than 11,000 people, including more than 1,000 children. The majority of these people belong to the Kamrup Metropolitan district. The state flagged off its first exclusive vaccination drive for the transgender community in May, which was the first such step reported in the whole country.