No implementation of the transgender policy in Karnataka has deprived transgender community of basic facilities.
Bengaluru: Five years since its approval, Karnataka has not seen any implementation of the Transgender Policy due to which the transgender community is not able to avail basic facilities and representation. These facilities include housing, shelter homes, old age homes, financial assistance in setting up businesses and education scholarships.
Uma, a transgender activist and Director of Jeeva, an NGO said, “There is no housing for the transgender community. When it comes to business, they have to take support of community people; they have to start their own business. We don’t have data, that’s why if people want to allocate something, number is not there.”
The Transgender Policy was proposed by the central government back in 2014. However, the policy is yet to be implemented in Karnataka. The policy mandates that state governments conducts a census of the transgender population and provides them certain benefits that will help create an inclusive society with equal representation of transgender.
Uma further said, “In transgender policy, lots of issues are there but zero point they implement. Regularly we go to them and ask what happening, transgender policy you have to implement and all, they will say we will call the meeting next month and again they don’t call us.”
Also, having no census of the transgender population creates problems in allocating a budget for these facilities. There have been proposals from the state government to conduct a survey of the city’s transgender population but they have been pending for the past few years.
Chandani, Director and Secretary of Payana, another NGO that works for transgender rights said, “There is no census data for us. Karnataka government asked for a proposal with help of all NGOs and community based organizations to conduct a survey but the form has not been forwarded. It is pending.”
Pallavi Akurathi, Directorate of Child Protection said that they are working to devise a plan to conduct the survey of transgender population in the city.
Dr. Sudeshna Mukerji, Associate Professor, Bangalore University said,
“They are where they were before. I believe that kind of welfare measures are needed but we need to look into more of the inclusion and empowerment measures where their access to jobs and education is very important.”