Central India’s first separate toilet for eunuchs to come up in Bhopal | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Central India’s first separate toilet for eunuchs to come up in Bhopal

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to build separate public toilets for eunuchs in the state, a first-of-its-kind initiative in central India.

bhopal Updated: Sep 07, 2016 18:04 IST

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to build separate public toilets for eunuchs in the state, a first-of-its-kind initiative in central India.

Mayor Alok Sharma said that after the Supreme Court recognised eunuchs as the third gender in 2014, he wanted to do something for them. “We decided to start a separate toilet facility for eunuchs in Mangalwara area, which has the highest concentration of eunuchs in Bhopal. I have also directed the officials to prepare a detailed project report and hire an architect to prepare the toilets’ design,” he said.

Venu Pillai, founder of NGO Mitra Shringaar Samiti, which works for the welfare of sexual minorities, said: “Eunuchs feel confused when they have to use public urinals and often use toilets meant for women. Women, however, feel uncomfortable in their presence. This initiative is meant to address this issue. Such toilets should be built elsewhere too.”

Aarti, a eunuch from Suraiya Naik’s group from Old Bhopal, said it was a step towards recognising eunuchs as a separate group which deserves all the facilities provided to the two genders.

“We often use female toilets. But they feel embarrassed in our presence. I hope a good number of separate toilets are built for us,” said Aarti.

In October 2015, BMC had sought suggestions from the eunuch community on how to make Bhopal a smart city. Eunuchs had demanded a separate housing facility which should not be out of the city limits as they wanted to be part of mainstream society.

The mayor had said BMC needed the blessings of the eunuchs to get selected among the top 20 cities, the results for which would be out on January 26.

The eunuch community has a long strong history in MP. In Bhopal, there are over 500 eunuchs, concentrated in Budhwara and Mangalwara, living in big groups called deras.

Eunuchs have enjoyed considerable power because of their proximity to the rulers in the Nawabi era. In 2000, Shabnam Mausi made history by becoming India’s first eunuch MLA from Shahdol district. Kamala Jaan became the country’s first eunuch mayor from Katni in 2003.