In the third budget of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said that the state government has decided to issue identity cards and ration cards to all transgender communities across Maharashtra. The ID and certificate will enable the government to reach out to the population for social welfare schemes. It will also help update official documents on the exact number of the transgender population in the district.
The identity cards and certificates will help apply for benefits under the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Pension scheme. The certificate can also be used to change gender and name on documents like Aadhaar cards, school leaving certificates, driving licence and so on.
Meanwhile, the transgender community don’t want to trust government announcement because they are against the physical sex test by male doctors. They are demanding for a female doctor to diagnose them.
Palghar Collector DR Manik Gursal said “The Trans genders should not be discriminated from other people in the society; He assured that they will be given all benefits under various government schemes. A process has been initiated to issue identity cards to them for availing such benefits.”
There are over lakhs of transgenders in the state and all of them will be given ID cards soon. Palgahar district has 100 transgenders in their area Sub-divisional officer Aseema Mittal said they already distributed ID cards to 30 transgender people in Dahanu taluka of the district.
Whereas the social justice department officials said it taking time as there are several issues that have to be sorted, like addresses of transgenders who often migrate from another state. Government has to deal with sensitive issues faced by transgenders and they are working on designing a proper format of the identity card.”
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court judgment of NALSA v/s Union of India declared that transgenders could self-identify themselves as male, female or transgender. The central/state governments were asked to frame various schemes for transgenders. Based on the judgment, the Government of India drafted The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act which was passed in Parliament and ratified by the President in 2019.
Later on, Rules were formed and notified in the Government Gazette for the issue of transgender ID cards and certificates. Any transgender can apply for the certificate and ID to the District Collector in whose jurisdiction she/he is staying for at least the past year. An online portal was created for transgenders to apply online. In December 2020 and January 2021 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no progress for about 7 months.