A host of issues covering aspects such as education, employment, and housing were raised by representatives of the transgender community during consultations led by Mayor V.K. Prasanth for inclusion of suggestions in the city Corporation’s Smart City proposal.
The representatives pointed out that the community members were yet to be issued gender certificates, which were essential for them to receive benefits. As per the transgender policy, such certificates were to be issued by district-level committees, which were yet to be formed.
Saritha, a member of the community, called for identity cards that could be produced to avoid harassment by law enforcers.
They pointed out that many of them could not complete even basic education as they found school environments not conducive to their education. They demanded residential facilities to train them for equivalency examinations. They also sought job-oriented skill training in areas where their artistic talents could be utilised.
They demanded jobs as traffic wardens or ASHA workers, and inclusion in job-guarantee schemes, Kudumbasree programmes, or waste management programmes.
Training for teachers
Creation of awareness of transgenders and gender non-conforming children in schools, and training for teachers regarding the same were among the other demands.
There was need to make government officials, including those of the city Corporation, more aware of transgenders and how to interact with them.
Housing, they said, remained a problem, especially as many were cast off by their families. Asma, a transsexual, said the city Corporation should provide them with some accommodation where they could live together.
Sandhya, a transgender, said doctors in hospitals neglected them. They wanted urban health centres to be made transgender-friendly, with regular counselling and health checks-ups.
Transgender-friendly toilets and reserved seats for transgenders on buses were also sought.
The demand for reserving one ward for transgenders was also raised. They called for nominating transgenders to standing committees such as those of welfare and education in the civic body so that the policies framed by them took the transgenders into account, besides nominating one transgender to the city Corporation council.
Police personnel had become more aware of transgenders courtesy various sensitisation and advocacy programmes, they said. However, no guidelines had been put in place for the police to follow in case of arresting transgenders.