The Pinarai Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) of Kerala, while presenting their maiden 2016-17 budget, announced a new pension scheme for the transgenders community in the state who are aged 60 and above.
The budget, however, did not specify the amount of the pension to be given.
This move comes a year after Kerala had unveiled a transgender policy for protecting the rights of the third gender, bringing them to mainstream and end the social stigma associated with the sexual minority group.
The new policy will cover all the categories of transgenders, including male to female transgenders and intersex people.
Transgenders often face discrimination in the society and are harassed in many ways. Kerala is the second state after Odisha to offer welfare scheme to the community. According to a survey, there are estimated 25,000 transgender persons in Kerala. Earlier last week, the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation Limited took the decision of employing transgenders in house-keeping, cleaning and crowd-management departments.
The new policy aims to ensure equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, the right to equal treatment under the law, the right to live life without violence and equitable right in all decision-making bodies. A Transgender Justice Board has also been recommended the oversee whether the new policy is being implemented or not.
The Logical Indian appreciates this move by Kerala government to give transgenders a new lease of life. For centuries the community has suffered harassment and ill-treatment from the so-called ‘mainstream’ section of people. Implementing such a scheme will give the third gender an equal opportunity to of representation. We urge other state governments to consider steps like these.