In a 1st, transgender persons trained in disaster management in Maharashtra district
MUMBAI: In perhaps a first for the country, the Palghar district administration has begun disaster-management training for transgender individuals. The first of a series of workshops held over a week ago saw 15 transgender people from the district getting familiar with basic first-aid technique.
A brainchild of the district’s disaster management cell officer, Vivekanand Kadam, modules are being developed to train transgender individuals on how to respond to various calamities, including accidents of their community members. “The focus of disaster management has been largely on how women respond to emergencies. The third gender suffers equally or more when a calamity strikes. They were badly hit during the pandemic. Unfortunately they do not get help from general public,” said Kadam.
The participants, mostly from in and around Palghar, patiently went through slides on first-aid training, including handling and prevention of injuries in an accident. “Our members have died in road accidents for lack of help. The training is an eye-opener. For a community that is ignored, it is time we step up,” said Nisha, one of the participants. The three-hour disaster safety education conducted on October 13, a day after the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction was celebrated globally, coincided with the district releasing its logo – a Warli painting – for its disaster management cell.
Participants narrated their hardships, their struggles in getting treatment during sickness and a dignified burial. “We have always helped people in times of difficulties but get ridiculed when we seek help. As most of our income comes from begging on highways, accidents are common,” said one. Kadam said while a beginning has been made, it will take several sessions before the community becomes an effective responder. “Most of them live by the day, so getting them to attend such workshops is a task,” said Kadam. There are around 150 transgenders registered in the district. The first training helped them understand how to proceed.
The district’s efforts have been lauded by the National Institute of Disaster Management, under the home ministry. Faculty member Ajinder Walia, in a letter, said it’s a valuable contribution to the innovative training programme and should be adopted by all districts and states.
Courtesy : TOI
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