India is all set to get its first homes for transgender children in Karnataka's Bengaluru. It would provide a safe-shelter to the transgender kids in need of care and protection.
According to The Hindu, the Ministry of Women and Child Development gave a green signal to the project. Details from the supplementary Project Approval Board (PAB) under child protection services state that two such government-run facilities would be established in Bengaluru Urban. It would be reserved for the transgender children in need of care and protection including orphans, abandoned children, street children, slum dwellers, child victims of abuse.
It is important to note that the transgender community in the country has been fighting the stigma, prejudices and has been boldly moving towards seeking a more inclusive society. Shelter homes specifically dedicated to children from such community would help in ensuring a happy childhood, free of violence and bullying, and nurture a sense of belongingness. Reportedly, the two transgender homes would have the capacity to accommodate 50 children each.
Indian Administrative Service officer Pallavi Akurathi, Director, Directorate of Child Protection, who came up with the idea to establish separate children's homes for transgenders, said that she had found out that the transgender children living in govt-run homes for girls/boys felt uncomfortable.
"My field level staff informed me that in many instances when transgender children who are in need of care and protection are produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), they are not able to place these children in the existing children's homes for boys and girls. CWCs avoid placing these children in the existing children's homes. I spoke to several people from the transgender community who spoke about the violence and abuse they faced as transgenders and decided that it is best that a separate home is established exclusively for such a vulnerable section of children," she said.
She further explained that it was not an easy task to get approval from the Centre as it was a new concept. It was initially not approved in the PAB held in May 2020, and she later resubmitted the proposal in the supplementary PAB held on October 15, 2020.
"They will not fit in the homes for boys or girls. Establishing a separate home and giving them the attention and care at a young age will help address some of their concerns," said Antony Sebastian, Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.