There is saying that whatever trap in ‘Bureaucratic Red Tape’ then that will not see the sunlight. That is what happening with the Transgender Welfare Board. The process for the formation of the Welfare Board is yet to start after the assurance of the chief minister some 10 months ago.
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a famous LGBT activist, who is fighting for the transgender community aggressively, alleges, “Government doesn’t want our welfare, Even after CM assurance nothing has happened, then you can think about the normal minister.”
Tripathi alleges that Red Tape is the major hurdle in formation of the board. “The major delays are caused by the IAS cadre Addl. CS (Planning) K P Bakhshi and Addl. CS (Finance) Sudhir Shrivastav who are failing to understand the head counts of transgender. They have raised question that there is no enough number of Transgender and therefore there is no need to form the board,” Tripathi added.
According to these bureaucrats, there are only 4000 transgender in Maharahtra. However, according to the Census data, there are 41,000 transgenders in the state. “In spite of several data shared with the Government regarding the number of transgenders including MSACS – Maharashtra AIDS Control Society, they don’t want to believe in these datas.”
They only want to believe in Adhaar’s data. “Aadhar is just a new process and some hijras who doesn’t have any document have not registered themselves under UIDAI programs and some has registered themselves as female because of lack of awareness,” said the activist.
“All processing papers for the ‘Welfare Board’ and data that derives population and census were submitted to the government. Even after providing all the material IAS Cadre denied the formation,” said Tripathi.
“This ‘adamant attitude’ clearly indicates that the government is showing weariness for our community,” alleges Laxmi.
A transgender get together was jointly organised by the state Women and Child Welfare Department, Transgender Welfare based NGO ‘Astitva’ and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).The Programme was held on October 3, 2013. At that meeting, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced for set up of a board for the development of the transgender community in the state. Varsha Gaikwad, Minister for Women & Child Development was also present in that get together.
When AV contacted Varsha Gaikwad on the development of the board, she said “Work for the formation of ‘Transgender Welfare Board’ is under process and we are hopeful that it will be formed before the next government formation. We are sure that the committee will approve the file as soon as possible. There is some problem related to the population of the transgender but that also we will solve soon.”
Minister assured that next week she is hoping something positive decision regarding this will come up. “We might get the final approval, next week. I am very much positive about the issue, and now the matter is in front of Honorable Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.”
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment also asked every state to form a welfare board for transgenders. Even, Supreme Court has recommended for the formation of the board for transgenders in its directive. (AV posses copy of both the directives)
Most of other states in India have already started the process for the formation of ‘Transgender Welfare Board’ like MP, Bihar and West Bengal. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has formed the board for the welfare of the transgender community.