The Rajasthan government appears to be dragging its feet on the matter of issuing identity cards to transgenders. The decision to issue separate ID cards to transgenders was taken at the first meeting of the transgender welfare board in August last year, but the board has made little progress in the direction.
For the purpose of issuing of ID cards, a committee was to be constituted in each district headed by the district collector, the board had decided. Nearly eight months after the decision, the committees have still not been constituted in the districts.
“We have sent letters to the districts asking for names of representatives from the transgender community which we shall nominate to the committees. Only some districts have sent the names as of yet,” said Ashok Jangir, deputy director of the transgender welfare board. The board is headed by Arun Chaturvedi, the minister for social justice and empowerment.
“The government has gone to sleep after forming the board. They haven’t done anything. The officials don’t give me time either when I want to meet them regarding the matter,” said Pushpa Gidwani, a leader of the transgender community and a member of the board.
Gidwani further said the ID card was the first step towards transgenders getting respect and recognition as a separate gender and them becoming beneficiaries of government schemes.
Hearing a petition filed by the National Legal Services Authority, the Supreme Court on April 15, 2014 passed a judgment recognising transgenders as the third gender.
The judgment said lack of formal recognition had only furthered their exclusion and curtailed education and employment opportunities for them. As per census 2011, there are 16,517 transgenders in the state.
Last year, the secondary education department asked all schools to ensure hassle-free admission to transgender students.
The higher education department had asked all government and private universities in the state to make amends in their admission policy to benefit transgenders.