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People and organizations all throughout the country engage in Transgender Awareness Week from November 13th to November 19th to assist raise transgender people’s visibility and address concerns that they encounter. Gender should, in theory, have no bearing on fundamental rights. However, for the trans community, this has been the standard rather than the exception for decades. Most national identification cards or identifying documents around the world, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, have a gender marker.
The inclusion of such identifiers, particularly on birth certificates, contributes to our society’s use of gender as a criterion for assigning identities, duties, and responsibilities. Gender identification is at the centre of so many facets of cultural norms and standards since gender is such a determining and powerful identifier. Moreover, the same categorization serves as a foundation for prejudice and inequality.
The trans community has been identified as one of India’s most marginalized groups, with access to essential services such as education, health care, and job possibilities. The lack of legal recognition, rights, and protection exposes the trans community to humiliation, forcing many trans people into the shadows of social non-acceptance and non-existence.
The significance of a birth certificate is frequently overlooked. Have you ever considered what happens if your birth certificates and identification cards do not represent your true identity? Many transgender persons around the world are confronted with this reality. Making sure that your birth certificate and identification reflect your preferred name and gender is an important component of transitioning. “When your identification does not reflect your identity, you become obsolete in society.” You are regarded as extraterrestrials. “Everyone you contact with, including your family and friends, is at your mercy,” said Piya, a transwoman from the Delhi NCR.
This opinion was echoed by the Indian government, which recognized this essential requirement. The National Portal for Transgenders was established with the goal of ensuring that transgender communities are included and that their rights to privacy, free expression, and dignity are respected. The community’s trust in the government has been strengthened by the establishment of this portal, which is just one of many good affirming policies and initiatives implemented under Prime Minister Modi’s guidance.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will launch the National Portal for Transgenders in 2020, which will allow transgender people to get Transgender Certificates and Identity Cards, and is a key provision of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. Recognizing the importance of this first step, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established the National Portal for Transgenders. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, has a clause that allows trans people to get Transgender Certificates and Identity Cards based on their self-perceived gender identity. The official website transgender.dosje.gov.in now has the Transgender ID Card Application Form 2021.
“I-Cards and documentation open doors to school, social welfare schemes, health, jobs, bank accounts, and housing,” said Ravi Mishra, a counsellor who works closely with the trans community. “Many people did not believe they would one day be able to live their trans identity socially and legally,” he continued, “but the portal has showed them it is feasible.”
In addition to English, the portal is now available in Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi. The webpage will also allow trans people to register their issues and contribute to the creation of a community database.
Schemes for Transgenders
In a recent written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment detailed different government schemes for transgender people.
Below are a few key government programs and initiatives aimed at transgender people.
SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise
The SMILE program focuses on rehabilitation, medical care, counseling, basic paperwork, education, skill development, and economic relations, among other things.
The Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Transgender Persons Welfare Scheme is a sub-scheme of the SMILE Scheme.
- The sub-scheme focuses on rehabilitation, medical services and intervention, counseling, education, skill development, and economic relations with transgender people.
Implementation: The SMILE Scheme will be implemented with the help of state/UT governments/local urban bodies, non-profits, community-based organizations (CBOs), educational institutions, and others.
Schemes for Transgenders- PM-DAKSH
PM-DAKSH is a Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment skill development program. Transgender beneficiaries receive skill development training from PM-DAKSH.
Under the PM-DAKSH scheme, transgenders can participate in short-term training, up-skilling/reskilling, entrepreneurship development, and long-term training.
Schemes for Transgenders- National Council for Transgender Persons
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established the National Council for Transgender Persons in August of 2020. The National Council for Transgender People was established to advise the government on transgender-related policies, initiatives, laws, and projects.
Schemes for Transgenders- National Portal for Transgender Persons
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment created the National Portal for Transgender People in November 2020. Any transgender person can apply for a Certificate of Identity and an Identity Card without having to visit the issuing office. A person who has been awarded a certificate of identity has the right to change his or her first name on his or her birth certificate and all other official papers connected to his or her identity.
During the COVID pandemic’s lockdown period, a helpline was established to provide psychological counseling to Transgender Persons in distress through qualified Psychologists.
Garima Greh: Shelter Home for Transgender Persons
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Garima Greh-Transgender Persons Shelter Home is a pilot program that provides shelter to transgender people. Garima Greh shelter homes’ major goal is to give safe and secure housing to transgender people in need. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha all have Garima Greh shelter homes. For the establishment of these Garima Greh shelter homes, the Ministry has granted complete financial assistance to community-based organizations (CBOs).
Garima Greh shelter homes provide transgender people with basic necessities such as food, shelter, medical care, and recreational opportunities. Transgender people can also benefit from Garima Greh’s capacity-building and skill-development initiatives.
Key Features of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
- Transgender people are described as those whose gender does not match the gender assigned to them at birth, according to the legislation.
- In education, employment, healthcare, housing, and other services, the act prohibits discrimination against transgender people.
- It stipulates that people will be identified as transgender based on their identification cards. The District Magistrates are in charge of issuing the identification cards.
- It enforces minor residence rights. This forces transgender people under the age of 18 to live with their families.
- The act states that transgender people have the right to have sex reassignment surgery. It is also their right to seek treatment at other medical facilities.
National Portal for Transgender Persons – UPSC Notes PDF
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