The Government of Assam, through its Social Welfare Department, formulated a draft policy for transgenders living in the state of Assam on a rights-based framework in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court in NALSA v. Union of India. It is an attempt to understand the factors responsible for the marginalisation of the transgender community. It seeks to identify the causal factors that result in the social vulnerabilities of the community in Assam. The State Government approved the policy in February 2020.
The Policy aims at delineating principles and identifying priority areas for implementing various programs for welfare. It also looks into the protection of the rights of members of the transgender community. It seeks to thereby create an environment where a Transgender person can live a full life with dignity; where both equality and non-discrimination on the ground of gender identity and other rights are assured.
OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY
- Provide access to educational facilities. Incentivise learning through the reservation of seats, providing separate boarding and lodging arrangements and establishing scholarships to Transgender students.
- Ensure a minimum standard of living by access to basic services like shelter and sanitation.
- Provide for transgender community-specific health schemes; and means of livelihood
- Promote human capital accumulation and income-generating activities alongside other genders;
- Ensure non-discrimination of the transgender persons in any form in all spheres by public authorities. In addition, support positive discrimination to address inequities in areas of education, health and employment.
- Raise public awareness of transgender rights and to develop the capacity of relevant stakeholders to enforce these rights. Additionally, generate large scale sensitization to see transgenders not as an aberration, but as an integral part of our society.
The Assam state government approved the draft policy for the welfare of the state’s transgender community on 12 February 2020. The state will now have its own transgender welfare board. Through this, the community will make efforts for its upliftment. Providing reservation in educational institutions, medical facilities, empowerment and fight discrimination among others are some of its main functions.