Transgenders have been recognised as a separate category under the head of gender, with 1,600 of them getting an Aadhar card (unique identification) in the city.
This is probably the first time that an identity card clearly marks their identity as that of a transgender.
A similar effort was made by the Election Commission too, when electoral identity cards had mentioned ‘Other’ as the gender category. According to the chief electoral officer of Delhi, as many as 559 such persons were given voter identification cards.
According to officials at the regional office of the Unique Identification Authority of India, Delhi, the category of ‘transgender’ has been present since the beginning of the project. While a number of transgenders have enrolled themselves, unique numbers for 1,600 have been generated and they have also got their UID cards.
“Based on the vision for a completely inclusive system and guided by the target of giving an Aadhar card to every resident of Delhi, the category of transgender has been there since the beginning. This is probably the first time that an identity card has recognised them as a transgender,” said Sujata Chaturvedi, deputy director general, regional Delhi office of the UIDAI.
According to the officials, the number of transgenders who have enrolled themselves is quite high but a UID number is only generated after proper verification. “The number of people enrolling for an Aadhar card is quite high but that doesn’t guarantee a card. If the person fulfils the criteria and provides all the required documents we provide them a UID card,” said a senior official.
Groups working for the LGBT community have welcomed the move but at the same time said that more needs to be done.
“It is a great move. Transpersons are equal citizens who never found an voice. This move is a step in the right direction. It’s time that we move beyond the gender binary. Genders are beyond black and white. It is a spectrum and all deserve respect that’s granted by the Constitution of India,” said Harish Iyer, an equal rights activist.
Recently, the Delhi government had made UID card compulsory for accessing most of the government’s services. The revenue department had already made it compulsory last year.