Responding to a long-standing demand, Palghar District has taken the initiative in Maharashtra to provide monthly financial assistance to transgender people starting New Years 2022, causing waves of excitement among this disadvantaged sexual minority.
About 100 identified and eligible transgender people in the district will be entitled to a modest aid of Rs 1,000 per month (for a total of Rs 12,000 per year) which will be deposited directly into their bank accounts, the Palghar district collector said. , Dr Manik Gursal.
“Financial aid will be given under the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana of the state government which is available for the indigent, the blind, the disabled, orphans, victims of serious illnesses, divorced or abandoned women, outraged women or saved from prostitution, transgender people, etc. “Gursal told IANS.
The plan provides for an annual income limit of up to Rs 21,000.
With the help of a social worker, Vaibhav Sankhe, a district-level survey was undertaken and around 100 eligible transgender people were identified for the program.
Sankhe said officials learned that a majority of them were abandoned as children or deported due to embarrassment from their own families when they realized their discrepancy or sexual preference.
“A majority don’t even have basic documents or a bank account ?? Most are illiterate. We will register them, give them the certificate, prepare their necessary documents like the ration card, the Aadhaar card, the electoral card, etc., and assist them to open bank accounts where the government will transfer money online, âGursal explained.
To this end, the district administration has established a four-member medical team including Dr Pradeep Thodi, Dr Vivek Kini, Dr Pragnya Savardikar and Dr Jaypalsingh Rajput, to certify potential beneficiaries according to the rules, a he added.
Sankhe explained how most transgender people are forced to lead miserable lives, are rejected and condemned by mainstream society, have no dignity or documents to qualify for aid under an official program, and are relegated on the sidewalks of society.
âHowever, we expect all of this to change with the remarkable initiative taken by collector Dr Gursal and with the mentorship of relevant people like Dr Manoj Shinde de Boisar,â Sankhe said.
Gursal said that to allow maximum transgender people in remote areas, he has delegated powers to the local level of the sub-division magistrate who can issue the certificate and other relevant documents.
“We don’t even ask them to come to the district or taluka headquarters. We run camps where transgender people can go and register for paperwork and other formalities,” Gursal said.
One of the transgender people, Aarti, told local reporters how the community has felt “overwhelmed” by the initiative that will help them join the mainstream.
âWe thank and bless Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the collector and others for treating us like human beings, giving us the necessary documents which are readily available to all other normal people,â Aarti said.
Aarti added how difficult it is for transgender people to survive, especially when they reach seniority without a social support system or financial resources, but SGNY help would help.
Palghar becoming the first district in the state to implement the SGNY program, the remaining 35 districts are expected to follow suit soon, giving a boost to much overlooked transgender issues and even the largest LGBTQ communities.
However, there is no reliable data available on the number of transgender people in the state with figures ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. Officials say that an appropriate district-level survey could provide accurate statistics for extend the benefits of SGNY to everyone.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])
sb / bg
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)