Transgender people seek help
Alappuzha: Transgenders, who are staying away from families, have landed in financial trouble due to lockdown and are clamouring for a helping hand. They don’t have income and many of them even haven’t received any government assistance so far.
According to state transgender cell, based on a survey conducted in Kerala in 2015, there are 25,000 transgender people in Kerala and of them, only 1,100 have identity cards. So only those with ID cards and membership in transgender community-based organizations received the financial assistance of Rs 1,500 from the Union government and food material packets of social justice department. Others have not received any other financial assistance or food materials so far.
“The festival season falls in March and April and it was an income generating period for us. During those months, we were busy with performance of various stage shows and art forms. We were busy almost every day of those two months. But due to the outbreak of Covid-19, all our income sources have stopped. Though the state government declared help for people of various fields, the government has not announced any assistance for us,” said Lija Thomas, a member of the transgender community.
According to the members, many of them are staying in rented houses and they are unable able to pay their rents. They also don’t have ration cards. They are not even able to return to their homes if their landlords ask them to vacate.
“At present, the food materials can be given to only those possessing ID cards. But we have received at least 2,000 new applications for ID cards. The 2015 survey said that at least 78% of the transgender community members were abandoned by their families after they revealed their identity. But currently, the situation has changed after the verdict of the courts and awareness programmes. At present at least, 50% of the transgenders are staying with their families. We are also trying to trace the transgenders, who are staying away from their families and without any financial assistance and food items. We will also try to ensure food materials to them,” said Syama S Prabha, project officer, transgender cell.
According to transgender cell, Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram have the highest number of transgenders in the state.
Courtesy : TNN