India: Transgender rights Bill to be reintroduced

In the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government’s second term, the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry will reintroduce the lapsed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 and pay out the ₹3,000-crore arrears in the scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students, Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on Tuesday.

Assuming charge of the Ministry for a second time, Mr. Gehlot said the Ministry would start several projects that had been approved and announced earlier within 100 days, including the National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation in Bhopal and the Centre for Disability Sports in Gwalior, both in Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Gehlot, a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, said the transgender rights Bill, which was introduced in Parliament in 2016 and passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2018, had lapsed and would need to be sent to the Cabinet for approval again and then introduced in Parliament. The Bill, meant to protect the rights of transgender people, had been criticised by the Opposition parties and members of the trans community for violating rights. Read more via The Hindu

Transgender Bill regressive, devoid of compassion: Mahila Congress

CHENNAI: All India Mahila Congress has termed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill of the Union Social Justice Ministry ‘regressive and devoid of compassion’.“The Bill is silent on reservation for transpersons in educational institutions and government jobs. This has been a cause of concern aside from criminalisation of begging,” Apsara Reddy, national general secretary, told UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi during a discussion on the legislation.

Reddy added, “When we are ostracised and have no way to feed ourselves, my community members resort to begging. Without provision for jobs, housing or medical aid we can’t criminalise a community that has no means of survival.”

During discussion with Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, Sushmita Dev, AIMC president said, “It is violative of human rights when we penalise a community for truly being who they are. Lack of opportunities have rendered transgender community to remain impoverished for far too long.” Read more via New Indian Express