Trans-Community representatives write to Government urging for a special package during the Lockdown

Team SoOLEGAL 29 Apr 2020 3:13pm

Trans-Community representatives write to Government urging for a special package during the Lockdown

Above 2000 representatives of the Transgender Community throughout India have appealed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Finance and Social Justice for a special package to ensure that the lockdown implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic does not have a significant effect on transgender people's wellbeing, food security and health across the nation.

The letter stresses the importance of physical distancing as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus, but it admits that public presence and physical interaction are major elements in the work paths of transgender people who often live in abject poverty, social isolation, and earn a living through begging and sex work.
"With physical distancing having been mandated (and rightly so to prevent furthering of virus), transgender persons have been weaned away from our only source of work. With no permanent sources of income, our condition is as vulnerable as daily wage earners."

It also emphasises on a recent death of a trans person from Indore has greatly disturbed the community and brought to light trans people's insecurity due to shortage of food and nutritional protection, accommodation, stable employment, access to healthcare facilities, etc.
"Often driven away from homes early in life, the practice of community living in poor hygienic conditions exposes many to greater health risk at such times."

While recognizing the temporary arrangements by the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) for the provision of Rs. 1500/- for nearly 4,500 trans persons, the letter states that the same is insufficient and has reached only 1% of the total trans-Indian population as a group population of at least 4.48 lakhs, as per the conservative estimate of Census, 2011. It further states that the number of self-identified individuals has risen considerably as a result of the Supreme Court's landmark judgment in NALSA v. Union of India (2014), but is not expressed in the official records.

Pursuant to the spirit of the NALSA judgment and the responsibilities of the State as laid down in Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India, the letter ends with a plea for the following steps to be implemented:

1.     Provide a guaranteed survival income of at least Rs. 3,000/-per month to every transgender person around the nation before the pandemic is completely under control and the situation returns to normal. This is much needed provided that most trans people do not have ration cards, no pension is offered in most states, and many transgender people live in rented accommodation.

2.     Universalize the distribution system to ensure food security for all trans citizens, and ensure monthly ration kits

3.     Secure and allowing no transgender person to be required to pay rent or face eviction by their landlords for non-payment of rent during the lockdown period.

4.     Ensure uninterrupted delivery of all necessary medications to trans people, including ART medications, tuberculosis medication and care, hormonal therapy and other gender-based procedures.

Tagged: Government   special package   Lockdown   COVID-19   pandemic   Coronavirus   Supreme Court  
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