Kerala opens cell for transgender people in social directorate

The transgender cell has been formed to support the basic needs of transgender persons, which includes homes and employment among others.
Kerala opens cell for transgender people in social directorate
Kerala opens cell for transgender people in social directorate
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Continuing with its transgender person-friendly initiatives, Kerala has become the first state in the country to form a transgender cell, which has been opened at social justice directorate in the capital. 

Syama S Prabha, a transgender person from Thiruvananthapuram, has become the cell's first state project officer, reports Deccan Chronicle.

Formed to help and support the functioning of state transgender justice board and district transgender justice committees, the cell has been given four officers to start with.

Laya Maria Jason from Kottayam and Shruti Sithara from Ernakulam will serve as project assistants. 

R. Dev, a transgender man from Pathanamthitta, has been appointed as office assistant, among others, adds the report.

"We will support the activities of the board and committees so that the basic needs of transgender persons, including homes and employment, are addressed. We will also oversee timely and effective utilisation of funds earmarked for transgender persons”, said Syama.

When the state had unveiled, in a first of its kind, the transgender policy in 2015, it had spoken clearly of a Gender Cell. The idea was then formulated to implement all the instructions and measures taken by the Transgender Boards.

“These include implementing measures or instructions by the TG board and issuing gender identity certificate to a TG person based on the recommendation of the district-level committee”, says Syama.

The newly formed cell will function from Vikas Bhawan in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram. 

The need to implement a transgender cell came about after incidents of flawed identity cards being issued for transgender persons, surfaced in the state. 

Complaints were also raised by the community when the identity card marked their sex but did not mark their gender as transgender.

Of late, Kerala has witnessed many incidents of harassment and physical assault on the transgender community, denting its image as a transgender-friendly state.

On February 8, 2018, a man named Pushparaj harassed a group of trans women who were on their way to the housewarming ceremony of their friend and make-up artist Shivangi in Thiruvananthapuram. 

In another incident on February 4, 2018, a trans woman was brutally attacked by a mob in Thiruvananthapuram's Valiyathura, after the local residents accused her of being a man who had come in the disguise of a woman to abduct children. 

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