news Friday, April 24, 2015 - 05:30
The Rajya Sabha has unanimously passed a private member’s bill outlining and enshrining the rights of transgenders in the country, a year after the Supreme Court recognised the community as the third gender. The bill has set a record not just in terms of recognising the transgender community’s rights individuality as separate from the man/woman binary, but the Rights of Transgender Persons’ Bill 2014 introduced by DMK member Tiruchi Siva is the first private member’s bill to be passed in 46 years. The bill was first introduced in December 2014, but it was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in current session on February 27 and discussed on March 13. The Bill comprises 58 clauses, and demanded the formulation of a national commission and state level commissions for the transgender community. It places the onus of ensuring that the transgender persons were considered a part of the community on the government, and also specify the ways in which they should be treated equally in terms of education, employment, and access to equal opportunities and development of skills. Transgender children should enjoy human rights and have freedom of expression just like the other children. It also demands special transgender right courts. Strict action is to be taken against those who subject transgender persons to any kind of discrimination under the law, which is also aimed at protecting them from violence and exploitation. The bill also provides for proper healthcare services, and also asks the government to treat them on par with any other backward community which would require special opportunnities in terms of affirmative action for the all-round development of the community.