A neighbourhood group for members of the transgender community will be launched in Kottayam.

Keralas successful Kudumbashree is all set to form groups for transgender personsImage for representation only
news Empowerment Tuesday, February 07, 2017 - 08:00

Months after Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) offered jobs to members of the transgender community in its housekeeping, customer care and crowd management sections, Kerala seems to be inching closer to its transgender persons policy launched in 2015.

Jaikrishnan Nair reports for The Times of India that Kudumbashree mission is set to form ayalkoottams (neighbourhood groups) for transgender persons in the southern district of Kottayam. The group, that comprises of 10 members, will be inaugurated on Thursday.

Launched in 1998, the state government’s Kudumbashree programme is a community-driven initiative that aimed at encouraging a woman to ‘save’ for the future. Neighbourhood groups of 10-15 women are formed, their savings pooled in to set up a venture on their own.

The Kudumbashree programme has since served as a lifeline to scores of women across the state, with the mission taking up activities including cooking units, agriculture, poultry farming and driving, among others.

In the case of the groups for transgender persons, since the members hail from different parts of the district, the ayalkoottam will be registered at the panchayat level.

Saying that more groups will be formed in the future, with the help of the members of the first unit, gender consultant of the district Kudumbashree Mission Usha Devi said, “There are around 375 transgender people in the district and we chose 10 from them. We had invited five of them to share their experience with us last week.”

With the programme being launched with the support from district legal service, Kudumbashree representatives believe that it will help members of the transgender community “come out of their shell.”

Also read: The Kudumbashree story: How Kerala women's grassroots scheme grew into a multi-crore project

In December last year, a school for drop-outs in the transgender community was set up in Kochi. Reported to be the first of its kind in the country, the school ‘Sahaj’ provides 10th standard equivalency education to the members.

Read the story in detail: In a historic move, country's first transgender school inaugurated in Kerala


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