Although a Supreme Court ruling has given an identity to “third genders” in the country, members of the community are yet to receive rights to employment and social status, said a rights activist Rubi Handa.
She was speaking at an advocacy programme organised in Dehradun on issues affecting the community.
More than 30 members of the third gender-- popularly known as “kinnar”-- and cross-dressers participated in the event to discuss problems of the community.
The Chennai-based voluntary health services (VHS) organized the event.
One of the key issues discussed at the event was social security and employment opportunities for the community.
Dr. G Pannirselvam, senior manager programme at VHS, told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the event that in many states, including Tamil Nadu, they have done considerable work to provide employment opportunities for the third genders.
“In Uttarakhand, however, the community is self dependent but there are some people from the community who are deprived of livelihood opportunities,” he said.
There are more than 2.5 lakh third genders across the country with more than 1,000 in Uttarakhand, but the state aids control society has been able to identify only 200 of them.
Dhananjay Chauhan, a panelist said there is a need of reservation for the community.
“If the government treats every citizen alike, then why can’t we get reservation in the government sector for employment?” he questioned.
“There should be a toll free number on the lines of the ‘beti bachao-beti padhao’ for third genders so that they can report atrocities faced by them.”