The West Bengal Government has taken special initiatives to upgrade status of the highly marginalised and vulnerable transgenders who are lagging behind on human development indices mainly in the areas of education and employment.
“Majority of this community is either not educated or less educated and thus, unable to participate fully in social, cultural, political and economic activities,” Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja told reporters after chairing the first meeting of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board (WBTDB), set up by the state government.
Constituted through a resolution of the cabinet, the Board comprised of four official and nine non-official members, who were present in the meeting to discuss among other things, rehabilitation and welfare of the transgender community. Speaking on the issue, Panja said emphasis would be on sensitisation and awareness programmes involving all stakeholders, including the police, to tackle the community’s medical problems, educational facilities and security challenges.
“Despite their citizenship, the transgenders are segregated and denied access to health service, judicial service, education and different other benefits of the society just because of their different lifestyle,” Panja said, adding, “As a result they are denied facilities of many schemes and projects which are available for general people.”
“This seclusion also forces them to adopt forceful collection of livelihood, which often go up to law and order problem,” the minister said, according to PTI.
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