The transgender community, unable to have access to documents and residence proof, fear the worst
The contentious NRC bill lacks the inclusivity of the transgender community putting them at risk of being stateless. They are often disowned by their family, leaving them with no access to important documents like identification and residence proof.
Sophie Bint Dawud, a member of the Trans community said, “Along with our fight for the identity we have to now fight to prove our citizenship. We were thrown out of our homes; it is difficult for us to produce documents. However, we will fight against this until the end.”
Justice Waghale, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission said, “The government is not perfect. It tries to cover all angles but lacks on some point. This is one such flaw. I’m not concerned about it at the moment, he added.”
Recently, about 2000 transgender were excluded from the final draft of NRC in Assam after which there was a massive protest from the trans and queer community.
Member of Sangama Trust said, “Why should a citizen show any document for proving their citizenship? We are against it. Many protests are going out around the nation which we people are a part of. There is a petition in the Supreme Court and we are awaiting the results after which we will take a call.”
Recent reports say that Swati Bidhan Baruah, the first transgender judge in Assam, filed a petition in the Supreme Court saying that they lack documents before 1971 as they were deserted by their families.
The expert informs that the government didn’t safeguard all the sections of society under this act.
Swami K, a criminal lawyer said, “There is no direct mention of gender as criteria in the NRC. Indeed, it will be very hard for trans-society to prove their identity. That’s one of the main problems with NRC, the no. of evidence of the scale at which it fails. But the govt. is still determined to implement it without putting safeguards for all the sections of the society.”
After the petition filed by Baruah on the exclusion of 2000 transgender from Assam, the community awaits the direction from the supreme court headed by Chief Justice of India S. Bobde.