CFAR and its partners Organisations hail Govt’s move to recruit Transgender in the Paramilitary Forces

Bhubaneswar : Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) and its partner organisation working for the rights of transgender have welcomed the move by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which seeks to recruit transgender people in the paramilitary forces in the position of Assistant Commandant, the entry point for officers. “This is big news for us and I welcome it. I hope it goes through. After such a long time, we are being heard,” said Meera Parida, a transgender leader and the founder of SAKHA, a community-based organisation working for the rights and entitlements of the transgender community.
Ms Parida said that in 2011, there were around 4.9 lakh transgenders in India. “The community has been demanding equality of opportunity and non-discriminatory policies for decades. Whether it is the education sector, job sector, or political platforms, people of our community should be given opportunities based on their education and calibre. We have seen that many other marginalized communities have been given priority by the government. It is time we too are given the same priority,” she said.

Another leader for transgender rights, Pushpa Mai, Founder of Nai Bhor, Jaipur, is a well-known transgender leader in Rajasthan and a member of the Transgender Welfare Board, Government of Rajasthan. Welcoming the move, she said, “It’s good news for our transgender community. However, the number of transgenders completing graduation and competing in UPSC-held competitive examinations is very small. If the ministry also considers transgenders in lower ranks such as that of soldiers, cooks, etc. in the forces, larger number of transgenders can apply and be appointed.”

Activists said that the government needs to bring transgender persons into the mainstream, all policies – whether it is for education, employment, or, in the current situation, on COVID-19 relief – need to factor in the special situation and needs of the community. Recently, a metro station (Sector 50) in Noida, the national capital region, was dedicated to the transgender community while the Noida Chief Executive Officer announced the Authority’s intention of providing employment to transgenders to bring them into the mainstream. “We need a huge expansion of opportunities for them and other marginalised groups to truly become a society that respects diversity,” said Ms Akhila Sivadas, Executive Director, Centre for Advocacy and Research. States like Rajasthan have created a board for the welfare of the transgender community, she added.

Ms Parida said that a number of progressive measures had helped the transgender community in Odisha. “I would like to thank Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his support to the transgender community. In the state, ration is being given to our community under the Antyodaya Scheme. In Bhubaneswar, the Slum Department arranged for houses for some members of our community and

Ensured basic facilities like water and electricity where they live. Transgenders can also apply for pension online. Apart from this, we have also been given the place in the political parties,” she said.

Many other state governments like Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi have also taken measure in favour of transgenders, she said, “but don’t stop here. There is a still a long way to go,” she said.

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