In a big boost to the transgender community, the Bihar government is working to facilitate the formation of self-help groups (SHGs) for transgender persons in the state. Such persons interested in starting a business/trade can get together to form an SHG. The social welfare department is ready to give seed money to the transgender self-help group members.
In the state, there are about 1 million SHGs for women that have been working under Jeevika, a World Bank-funded poverty alleviation programme. The programme was started to make rural women self-reliant through various kinds of activities, including farming, poultry, and goat rearing to making masks during the COVID pandemic. It has been able to make nearly 12 million women economically independent, reported Hindustan Times.
Rajkumar, director of the social welfare department, said, "Likewise, the social welfare department has planned self-help groups for transgender persons also. This way we will be able to provide them financial support. They may sell vegetables or start beauty salons or any other kind of work. The department will give them the seed money for any kind of business."
'Demand For SGHs Long-Pending'
Reshma, a former member of the transgender welfare board of the social welfare department, said the demand for SGHs for transgender persons has been a long-pending one. A group can have a minimum of 10 members with someone officiating as secretary and another as treasurer, she added.
According to the 2011 Census, more than 40,000 transgender persons are living in the state. The Bihar government has stepped up to help the community and tried integrating them into the mainstream. Last month, the state set up its first-ever transgender home-cum-skill training centre. Earlier this year, the Bihar Police gave its approval for the appointment of transgender persons in the force.