In an historic move the State Government of Odisha led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has issued a special policy to provide equal opportunity to transgender community in varied fields and venues
In an historic move the State Government of Odisha led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has issued a special policy to provide equal opportunity to transgender community in varied fields and venues. Besides this the Government has also formed an advisory council for them.
The policy has been issued by the Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability Department.
According to a Government official the policy will ensure that transgender persons are not denied any opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation. They would not be discriminated in terms of any position, training, promotion, transfer posting level.
Further, violation of this or harassment of and/or discrimination against transgender persons will addressed as per the service rules. The policy also mandates the appointment of a complaint officer to look into the grievances of transgender persons within 15 days of filing the complaint.
Briefing the Press, Ashok Chandra Panda, the Minister for Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability, said: “The State Government has taken all the steps for the development of transgenders as per the Act. To facilitate this, SSED Department has taken several steps. A Circular has been issued. The process has already started for it.”
Talking to news18.com Mira Parida, President of the State Transgender Association, said: “Odisha is the first State to provide all facilities in the Asian continent. Odisha is also the first State to facilitate equal opportunities in different sectors. We demand reservation on panchayat and urban local bodies."
Following the Transgender Rights Act which prescribes providing employment and equal opportunities, the State Government has taken steps to employ them in a number of sectors like collection of taxes and parking fees.
Heartily welcoming this bold and liberal policy, Anjali Gopalan, Founder and Executive Director of Naz Foundation told India Narrative: “It is definitely a progressive and forward thinking decision. I can only hope all States in the country and the Centre to do the same. We are a democratic country and must behave like one.”
She felt that equal opportunities will “help create a level playing field while helping transgender members of the society to assimilate because they will be seen as productive citizens who are contributing to the society.”
Meghana Sahu welcoming the move said that about 40,000 transgender persons will be benefitted.
Making a pertinent observation to India Narrative, Gopalan, said: “It is important to remember that most transgender children drop out of school due to bullying and abuse. That is where protection is needed too.”
Odisha Government had earlier too taken steps to empower transgender community. This year in June they were allowed to apply for sub-inspectors post in police force and post of revenue inspectors.