Progressive Move! After Kerala, Rajasthan To Issue Separate Identity Cards For Transgenders
The Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan has decided to issue separate identity cards for persons belonging to the transgender community in the state.
Rajasthan Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Master Bhanwarlal Meghwal said that providing separate identity cards will help people of the community to get the benefit of government jobs as well as all government schemes.
Meghwal also informed that orders have been issued in writing to all the district collectors of the state to create a separate identity card for this community. Last month Rajsthan had announced an empowerment scheme for transgenders in the state, under which members of the community will be provided vocational training.
Rajasthan is only the second Indian state to issue separate ID cards for transgenders. In 2018, Kerala had become had the first state to give ID cards to the transgender community to ensure the privileges and benefits offered by the government to reach the members of the community.
Kerala was also the first Indian state to have a transgender policy. In 2019 the Kerala Social Justice Department had made the entire application process by which transgenders can apply for ID cards with the click of a button.
This was based on the feedback received by the community which said the application process was protracted. Members of the transgender community were not keen on visiting various offices either. They also wanted a change in the card – they wanted it to specify their gender.
Despite the Supreme Court in a 2014 judgment in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, gave an Indian citizen the sole right to self-identification of their gender identity and recognizing transgenders as the third gender, not much has been done to improve their social status. Rights groups say they often face huge discrimination and that sometimes hospitals refuse to admit them.
They have been forced to choose either male or female as their gender in most public spheres. According to one estimate, India has about two million transgender people.
Last year, despite the opposition from a large section of the community last year the government had passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill. Many in the community say that certain provisions in the law are unconstitutional, including the formation of district-level, five-member screening committees to certify the gender of a transgender person — a provision that apparently runs against the Supreme Court’s 2014 judgment that granted the right to self-recognition of gender to transgender individuals.
Courtesy : IT