State approves first policy for transgenders | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

State approves first policy for transgenders

Mar 12, 2024 07:22 AM IST

Maharashtra govt approves policy for transgender community, advocating reforms in education, healthcare, and equal rights to combat prejudice and discrimination.

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Monday cleared a comprehensive policy for the transgender community that suggests reforms in spheres such as education and healthcare facilities and envisages equal rights to transgenders who often face prejudice and discrimination. This is proposed to be done by establishing a dedicated redressal system in educational institutions, workplaces and even police stations.

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For instance, the policy suggests establishing a Transgender Protection Cell under the supervision of the director-general of police (DGP) or nominating a dedicated officer to deal with such cases at the state level. Similarly, it advocates designating a police officer at each police station to investigate cases related to transgenders.

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The 28-page policy promotes equal rights for the community and suggests the constitution of a medical board at the district level across the state. “Financial support can be provided to those who need assistance for gender-affirming surgeries. Government hospitals may offer free gender-affirming surgeries,” it reads.

To uplift and empower transgender or third-gender individuals, the barriers in educational institutions, such as discrimination, should be addressed to ensure equal access to education for the community, says the policy. A separate policy can be framed to address the issue of harassment of transgenders in educational institutions to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities.

The policy suggests that directives be issued to all educational institutions that come under the jurisdiction of the state and central government to take stern action against bullying, harassment and other forms of violence against transgender students. “There must also be a dedicated cell to redress the complaints related to discrimination, prejudice, harassment and other forms of violence against students from the community,” it adds.

The policy suggests the provision of a category called ‘Third Gender’ for civil service examinations, which will allow transgenders to apply and take part in the entrance exams. For workplaces, it proposes dedicated counselling or support centres wherever feasible, where at least one transgender individual is included to ensure their active participation. The state should give priority to transgenders in providing them skilled development training and professional development, it advises.

The policy also proposes making transgenders eligible for pension in case the surviving family member of a deceased government employee is a transgender.

It further talks about establishing a Transgender Commission as mandated by Section 10(1) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2020. Insurance companies can be directed to consider certificates related to transgenders issued by an appropriate authority and encourage companies through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to actively include transgender individuals in the list of social development programs, it reads.

The policy also suggests establishing independent toilets for transgenders at all public places and making available a platform for transgender individuals to showcase their cultural talents.

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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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