New Delhi: The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 that provides for protection of rights of transgender persons and their welfare was passed amid din by the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Seeking passage of the Bill, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said the Bill was important in view of the rights of the transgenders and urged the members to pass it.
The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2016 and as per the demands of the members, the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.
Gehlot said that as many as 27 suggestions made by the standing committee were accepted in the Bill amid protests by the Congress, AIADMK and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members on different issues.
Amid the din Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, Biju Janata dal (BJD)’s Bhartruhari Mahtab, Natinalist Congress Party (NCP)’s Supriya Sule and Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s Kakoli Ghosh spoke and presented their concerns on the various clauses of the Bill. They also sought some amendments but were rejected.
According to the 2011 Census, the number of persons who do not identify as “male” or “female” but as “other” stands at 4,87,803 — 0.04 per cent of the total population.
This “other” category stands for transgender persons. In 2013, the government set up an expert committee to examine issues related to transgender persons. The committee stated that transgender persons faced issues of social stigma and discrimination which affected their access to education, healthcare, employment and government documents.
In 2014, the Supreme Court recognised transgender person’s right to self-identification as male, female or the third gender. Further, the Court directed the Central and state governments to grant legal recognition to transgender persons, address issues of social stigma and discrimination, and provide social welfare schemes for them.(IANS)
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