Kendrapara, Jan 31 (LocalWire) Transgender community in Odisha recently organized an awareness camp to demand equal rights in society.
The “Awareness Camp on Right to Transgenders” was organized by District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) at Patalipanka in Kendrapara district, where they demanded right to personal liberty, dignity, freedom of expression, right to vote, right to contest in the elections and right to work and marry.
“Transgenders are deprived of social and cultural participation. They are shunned by family and society.
They have only restricted access to education, health services and public spaces, restricted right to marry and livelihood opportunities,” said Radha Swain, a transgender and president of Transgender Association of Paradip.
Swain said all political parties should give tickets to eligible transgenders to contest in the upcoming elections.
“The Supreme Court in its decision in 2014 National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India directed the central and state governments to amend laws to provide ‘right to marry’ for transgender persons. But the law is yet to be enacted. It is high time for the government to amend the laws to allow lesbian, transgender and gay marriages,” said Swain.
“Transgender rights are gaining recognition globally. Our government too should reserve few seats in Gram Panchayat, Assembly and Lok Sabha elections for transgenders,” said Rangabati Kinnar, a transgender.
“Their discrimination based on their class and gender made the transgender community one of the most deprived and dis-empowered group in the society. The Indian legal system is silent on the issue of sex change operation,” said Sila Khatua, a social worker and a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV).
“As per Section 320 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), emasculating or castrating someone is punishable under Section 325,” said Khatua.
Another social worker Chitranjan Tarini said: “Our country has centuries old histories of the existence of transgenders. Most transgender people, especially youth, face great challenges in coming to terms with one’s own gender identity . Most employers deny employment for even qualified and skilled transgenders.”
“The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 has been passed in the Lok Sabha to secure the rights of transgenders. It is a progressive step towards extending constitutional protection to this highly marginalized community,” said Rajkumar Das, secretary of District Legal Service Authority
Around 100 transgenders and others attended the awareness camp.