Mar Thoma Church to reach out to transgender people
Plans are afoot to reconstitute panel for empowering the transgender community under a bishop
Spelling out the direction he wants the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church to take, Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan has acknowledged the need for the Church to leverage its privilege, abilities and resources to embrace those who are left out, forgotten and abused in society.
By U. Hiran
‘‘Jesus Christ always had a preferential option for the poor and marginalised and this makes the Church duty-bound to reach out of its normal cycle.’’
Having engaged with people on the margins, including the transgender people, he regards it the duty of every Church to acknowledge the real possibility of alternative societies. Hence, reinvigorating the Church’s project for the mainstreaming of the transgender community and expanding its scope of operation across Kerala have been among the top priorities of the new high priest of the Mar Thomas Church.
During an interaction with The Hindu, the Metropolitan said plans are afoot to reconstitute the Church-level committee for empowering the transgender community under a bishop. The programme, according to him, takes a cue from the successful intervention of the movement in Mumbai during his tenure as head of the Mumbai diocese.
The Metropolitan estimates the actual number of transgender people in Kerala to be around 40,000 as against the official statistics of 25,000. ‘‘Understanding the social relations of the transgender community requires a deeper research and empowering them through outside interventions is easier said than done.’’
As part of it, sensitisation programmes will be organised in institutions like schools and hospitals and churches and counselling and support services provided for the transgender people and their families. The Church will also work with various government and non-government organisations for the protection of the human rights of the community.
The project also encompasses imparting skill training, offering food kits in crisis situations and, in some case, offering individual help, among other things.
The Metropolitan touched upon a variety of topics ranging from the Church and the new normal, conservation of nature, the philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru, etc., among other things during the interaction.
Courtesy : The Hindu