Rajya Sabha clears bill to protect rights of transgenders

In a significant step towards the welfare of the transgender community, the Rajya Sabha, Friday, unanimously passed a private member’s bill to protect the rights of the community.

New Delhi: In a significant step towards the welfare of the transgender community, the Rajya Sabha, Friday, unanimously passed a private member’s bill to protect the rights of the community.

The private member bill provides for the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national policy to ensure overall development and welfare of transgenders by the State.

Last month, members from across the political spectrum had joined hands to ask the government to take steps to bring the transgender community, facing social stigma and ostracism, into the mainstream.

Participating in a debate on DMK member Tiruchi Siva's 'The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014', the members demanded equal rights to the community, which has been historically subjected to severe discrimination.

"Government must own this bill and pass a sensitive legislation for transgenders, whom people push away. It will give credit to new government. They have the same rights as you and me," said Congress member M S Gill.

D P Tripathi (NCP) echoed Gill saying "the litmus test of any democracy is its treatment to the minorities. Transgenders are treated as despicable."

When Deputy Chairman P J Kurien wanted to know the reason for it, he said "only the government can answer this." A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) said Tamil Nadu government has done pioneering work for them, which should be replicated in other states.