The Odisha government has issued a special policy that has been welcomed with open arms by the transgender community. Issued by the state's Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities issued a notification on October 4, stating the 'Equal Opportunity Policy for Transgender Persons' to be implemented under the guidelines of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2020.
Under Rule 12 of the above-mentioned act, every establishment has to make sure that it is a safe working space and makes the necessary infrastructural adjustments to cater to the needs of the transgender community.
Equal Opportunity Policy
The notification was shared on Twitter by a development worker named Ghasiram Panda. It said,"The department will provide equal employment opportunities, without any discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, colour disability, marital status, nationality, race and religion." Further, a 'Complaint Officer' will also be appointed to listen to the grievances and act upon them so that everything can function smoothly.
Speaking to News 18, Odisha's minister for Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Ashok Chandra Panda said, "The state government has taken all the steps for the development of transgenders under this Act. To facilitate this, SSED Department has taken several steps. A circular has been issued. The process has started for it."
Panda also added that an Integrated Infrastructure Complex will be established in all 30 districts for the hearing and visually impaired people of the state.
The state's transgender community has lauded this initiative. Mira Parida, president of the State Transgender Community, hailed the move as well. "Odisha is the first state to provide all facilities in the Asian continent," she said. Further, she also demanded reservations in Panchayat and urban local bodies as well.
"The government has discussed with the association and taken the steps. Near about 40,000 transgenders will be benefitted. We welcome the step," said the association's secretary, Meghana Sahu while lauding the initiative.
Inclusivity In Odisha
Odisha's work towards such inclusivity has been recognised and appreciated before. In June this year, the state's police force allowed transgenders to apply for the post of sub-inspectors. Several governmental organisations within the state have also welcomed them with open arms.
As of now, around 40 members of the community are currently working in the state's urban development department. Also, till now, 26 transgenders have applied for the position of sub-inspector whereas 20 applied for the post of revenue inspector.